I suppose if I were trying as hard as Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature to make life even more miserable for the state’s disadvantaged, I’d be attempting to curtail their voting rights as well.
It’s supremely ironic that Scott was once CEO of a health-care company that had to pay the largest fine in history for defrauding Medicare. In his current incarnation as Florida’s governor, he feels he’s too ideologically pure to accept federal money that might help the citizens of his state. Sure, he reversed himself after first coming out against Medicaid expansion (with the feds paying full freight), but that’s only because he’s facing re-election. Fortunately, the Legislature saved his bacon with the anti-Obamacare types by refusing the Washington money — so a potentially embarrassing bill never had to cross his desk. We know where his heart is, even if you need an electron microscope to find it.
Looking at Scott, you begin to discern a pattern, starting with his insistence that anyone receiving government aid be required to take a drug test — at the person’s own expense if the results were positive. That blew up in his face — not only was the program ridiculously expensive in a time of belt-tightening, it revealed that those receiving welfare had a lower incidence of drug use than the general population. Maybe that’s because the poor have less disposable income to spend on recreational activities than the rest of us. In any case, prejudice met reality, and prejudice lost.
There is a strain of conservatism that believes the poor are the way they are by choice — they’re lazy, shiftless, and deserve no quarter from the better off. This view is particularly prevalent among the über-wealthy, of which Rick Scott is Exhibit A.
Getting back to Scott’s past association with the industry, you’d think that he, of all people, would understand the value of health care. He certainly does — in a dollars-and-cents kind of way. His eyesight gets a little blurry when it comes to viewing health care access as a human right in a developed society.
Whatever it is Rick Scott's trying to prove — and to whom — it might be a good idea to give his karma a wide berth from this point on.