As the leader of the multi-state challenge to federal health care reform, the attention will be on Florida when the U.S. Supreme Court makes its ruling next week on the merits of the law. And we're already catching a glimpse of Gov. Rick Scott's message strategy in the case that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is overturned by the High Court.
Lane Wright, the governor's press secretary, emailed the messaging strategy on Tuesday to Rob Nichols, a spokesperson for Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Kasich is a Republican, like Scott, and Ohio is one of the 25 states that joined Florida in fighting the individual mandate contained in what is commonly known as "Obamacare."
(We obtained the email through Project Sunburst, where correspondence to and from Scott and others in the Executive Office of the Governor are posted. Tip of the hat to Politifact's Katie Sanders' keen eye.)
If the court rules in Florida's favor, Wright notes, the governor's office will contrast the national economy with Florida's. The message will be the national economy under President Barack Obama's leadership is in "shambles" while Florida, under Scott, is doing well.
When it comes to healthcare, the existing national system will be touted as one that works but has become too expensive. Scott will begin talking up "four pillars of reform" to fix the issues: "increased consumer choice, increased provider competition, increased provider accountability and price transparency, and increased personal responsibility."
We haven't found any talking points in Wright's inbox regarding how Scott would react if the High Court upholds all or part of the healthcare reform law. But we'll keep our eyes open.
Here is the full text of Wright's email:
From: Wright, Lane
Sent: Tue 6/19/2012 5:02 PM
Subject: Obamacare Information
Per your request, here's some information to supplement our previous conversation—what we're now saying.
Healthcare Law If overturned:
Focus on contrast between Federal Government vs. Florida:
· With national economy in shambles, federal government wasted resources, time and energy trying to implement a massive social program that injected nothing but uncertainty and doubt.
· Squandered any chance of fixing our economy
· Meanwhile, here in Florida, we focused energy, time and resources on fixing the economy
· The difference is dramatic. National economy is anemic. Florida has had 11 straight months of improving unemployment
Where do we go from here?
· The only problem with our health care system is rapidly rising costs
· The US has one of the best health care systems in the world; we just have to make it more affordable.
· To fix it, there are four pillars of reform
o Increased Consumer choice
o Increased provider competition
o Increased provider accountability and price transparency
o Increased personal responsibility