Herald/Times video: The Crist Care contradictions
Government-run, taxpayer subsidized healthcare is bad. Except when it isn't. Welcome to Crist Care.
Gov. Charlie Crist said he opposes congressional Democrats' plan for a so-called "public option" for healthcare, but on Thursday his administration was touting the expansion of government healthcare for children. In just two months, KidCare has signed up 50,000 kids. Add to this Crist's support for fully funding Medicaid (which includes many KidCare kids), and the fact that Crist supported expanding government-run Citizens Property Insurance in 2007, and Crist has favored some type of "public option" for insurance. (Forget about Medicare and the VA, which are completely federal).
When asked to explain the contradiction, Crist said as he walked away: ‘‘Shouldn't we always be sympathetic to children?"
Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp called KidCare a "shining example for our country," thereby inviting a discussion about government healthcare. He was more expansive than Crist in defending the administration's positions. He said there's a difference between insuring kids and insuring regular folk "who can go out and get a job."
Get a job? In the number-two jobloss state in the nation, where economists estimate that up to 1 million people will be out of work by the end of next year? 1 in 5 Floridians is uninsured and, according to a Thursday study by the liberal Families USA group, premiums rose 98 percent to $13,497 a year in Florida since 2000. But in that time, the median income of Floridians rose just 27 percent to $28,836 a year. That's certainly enough to pay for a nice plan like the one guaranteed to the Tallahassee pols. Actually, it's $28,836 too much. The pols get free premiums thanks to taxpayers.
During a conference call arranged by Families USA, Democratic Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Crist's positions were noteworthy.
"The hypocrisy is startling," she said. Still, neither she nor colleague Kendrick Meek, a Miami Democrat, could explain how the new health plan wouldn't run too many deficits.