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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Scott: Obamacare must be killed, not tweaked

Gov. Rick Scott talks with reporters in Washington on Dec. 13, 2016

Alex Leary | Times

Gov. Rick Scott talks with reporters in Washington on Dec. 13, 2016

13

December

WASHINGTON - Gov. Rick Scott, who met this afternoon with the man charged with overseeing a repeal of Obamacare, insists the sprawling program cannot simply be adjusted.

"I know a lot of people in Washington say, 'Oh, you can't replace it. It has to be tweaked.' The truth is, you have to replace it if you want people to get access to good quality health care at a price they can afford, your employers can afford, the government can afford," Scott told reporters after meeting with Rep. Tom Price, who is President-elect Donald Trump's choice for health secretary.

Scott's stance is no surprise; his entry into politics was driven by opposition to the Affordable Care Act, which he said Tuesday was created by "liberal bureaucrats" and sold as a "lie." He said he wants to be Trump's liaison for governors on the issue.

Scott said he discussed with Price ways to make Medicaid more flexible for states and to drive more competition into health care.

"The problem is cost. It's cost. It's cost. It's cost," he said.

The former hospital executive -- and potential 2018 U.S. Senate candidate -- was asked about concern from his former industry about dismantling the program. Again, Scott said competition on price and customer satisfaction is the way to go. 

Nothing he grew up poor, Scott said access to health care for all is important. "But if you can say, 'Oh, we have access but you can't afford it,' that's not access."

"The best way to get access to health care, as we all know, is through a job ... not relying on a government program that overpromises and underdelivers," he said.

Hours before Scott’s meeting Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell was in Tampa to urge people who want to sign up for Obamacare to do so by Dec. 15. 

"Whether Floridians get coverage through an employer, Medicaid, the individual market or Medicare, they have better health coverage and care today as a result of the ACA," Burwell said in a statement issued earlier. "We need to build on our progress and continue to improve health care access, quality and affordability — not move our system backward."

 

[Last modified: Tuesday, December 13, 2016 3:32pm]

    

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