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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Solantic conflict for Scott? Next question



Given the chance to put to rest questions about a possible conflict of interest with Solantic, the chain of health clinics he founded, Gov. Rick Scott instead said he's going to what he's "believed all his life."

Palm Beach Post reporter Stacey Singer outlined some potential problems for Scott and got the same response, which is to say she received no response despite asking the press shop a half-dozen times.

We tried to follow up with the communications staff today and were told they would not respond to "general allegations."

The Post story reports that state ethics law stipulates a government officials cannot have a contractual relationship with business regulated by the state. Solantic is licensed by the Agency for Health Care Administration and hires doctors licensed by the Department of Health. Scott is in charge of hiring directors at both agencies, although he has not done so yet.

Scott has put his Solantic ownership into his wife's trust, the same trust he used to pay for much of his gubernatorial campaign. Was the move a nod to ethics laws?

Asked today to clarify, here's what Scott said:

"If you look at everything that I want to accomplish in health care in Florida is basically what I've believed all my life. I believe in the principle that if you have more competition it will drive down the prices," Scott said.

"If you give more choices it's better for the consumer also to help drive down price. I believe that we should reward ... the person who takes care of themselves, eats right, doesn't smoke, exercises, things like that. So all those things are the things I believe in.

"And that's exactly what I'm going to do as governor."

[Last modified: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 3:13pm]


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