State of Florida Archives: on Health Care


Charlie Crist: AdWatch: unwavering support of ObamaCare

Let's Get to Work, a PAC affiliated with Gov. Rick Scott, is going on the attack, hitting former Gov. Charlie Crist for his support of President Barack Obama's federal health-care law. Despite spending most of his career as a Republican and only joining the Democrats at the end of 2012, Crist is the favorite for his new party's nomination to challenge Scott in 2014.

Let's Get to Work is now running a television ad showing clips of Crist expressing his support for Obama's law.

"Charlie Crist's unwavering support of ObamaCare and its disastrous effects on the 300,000 Floridians that are losing their current health insurance plans is alarming," said the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) on Monday. "Plain and simple, Florida cannot afford Charlie Crist and the liberal Obama agenda."

Source: Sunshine State News AdWatch on 2014 Florida Governor race Dec 9, 2013

Rick Scott: AdWatch: "Let's Get to Work" opposing ObamaCare

Florida Gov. Rick Scott's political committee, "Let's Get to Work," launched a round of Web ads hitting Charlie Crist, his Democratic challenger, for supporting ObamaCare. Republican officials say this shows that it's not just federal candidates who will be tied to President Barack Obama's health plan next year.

"Charlie Crist stands with Obama," the female narrator says in one of the ads, titled "Charlie Crist Supports ObamaCare."

The Republican Party of Florida and Scott's committee plan a combined six-figure digital buy.

Earlier, Scott's committee had a broadcast and cable buy for "He's an Opportunist," launched the day Crist--a former Republican and former independent--announced.

Source: Politico.com AdWatch on 2014 Florida Governor race Dec 9, 2013

Connie Mack IV: ObamaCare cuts $700 billion out of your Medicare

Mack accused Nelson of chronic tax-raising, of taking President Barack Obama's side over Florida Medicare beneficiaries, "Bill Nelson cast the deciding vote to cut $700 billion out of your Medicare to pay for Obamacare. I voted against Obamacare," Mack said in his opening remark, a charge that PolitiFact Florida rates Mostly False.
Source: Tampa Bay Times on 2012 Florida Senate debate Oct 18, 2012

Connie Mack IV: Repeal ObamaCare but preserve pre-existing condition rule

Mack said he'd repeal Obama's Affordable Care Act, though he said he thought there would be a way to preserve at least one of its most popular elements: making sure people can't be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
Source: Sun-Sentinel coverage of 2012 Florida Senate debate Oct 16, 2012

George LeMieux: ObamaCare makes broken healthcare system even worse

Last March, Congress passed the Obama Health Care Bill that makes an already broken healthcare system even worse. This 2,700 page budget busting bill was written behind closed doors, without input from Republicans, and against the will of a majority of Americans. I opposed ObamaCare during my time in the Senate and believe it must be repealed. What is needed is a targeted, step-by-step approach that will reduce cost and increase access without adding to the deficit.
Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, georgeforflorida.com, "Issues" Jul 16, 2011

Jeff Greene: Supports Obamacare

The candidates generally restrained from attacking each other when questioned on specific issues. Asked about health-care, the candidates praised new federal laws backed by President Barack Obama, but sparred over Medicaid. Replying to a question on Social Security reform, Greene and Meek attacked Crist and Rubio for backing raising the age of eligibility for receiving Social Security benefits.
Source: 2010 Florida Dem. Primary Debate, in Sunshine State News Aug 11, 2010

Charlie Crist: Cover Florida: 6,000 uninsured given peace of mind

Q: You said a month ago there may be parts of healthcare reform that you don't have to scrap. What parts?

CRIST: Pre-existing instances should not be a discriminatory tool used by insurance companies to not give people insurance. We need to repeal this thing. Let's start over. The real problems with health care are access and affordability. And we have approached those in Florida, a plan called Cover Florida. No tax dollars involved. No government mandates. I think Washington could learn a lot from Florida.

Q: We looked into Cover Florida--stripped-down insurance for stripped-down prices. As you say, all voluntary. But only 0.1% of Florida's uninsured have signed up for it, 5,000 out of millions of people.

CRIST: It's about 6,000 now. Every individual of those 6,000 now has that peace of mind, doesn't have to worry about their child having a catastrophic illness.

Q: But it's hardly "Cover Florida."

CRIST: Well, I think it's important that it's Cover Families. People who get it like it.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2010 Florida primary Senate debate Mar 28, 2010

Charlie Crist: Get waste & fraud out of Medicare so program will survive

CRIST: I think we need to take the fraud out of Social Security, the waste, in Medicare as well.

Q: With all due respect, waste and fraud--people have been talking about it for years. Don't you actually have to make some benefit changes if you're going to deal with this debt issue?

CRIST: You might have to make some, but I think what you want to do first is get the waste and the fraud out.

Q: Such as what?

CRIST: I think you have to have strict enforcement. You have to have U.S. attorneys that go after this with a serious approach and realize that in order for these programs to be able to survive so that my children and my grandchildren have an opportunity to be able to benefit from them, we have to spend less by getting waste and fraud out of these systems.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2010 Florida primary Senate debate Mar 28, 2010

Marco Rubio: Provide alternatives to employer-based insurance system

Q: In an article you wrote: "Any solution should ultimately seek to promote a vibrant private market where individuals can buy health insurance the way we buy auto insurance, independent of our employer, with the kind of flexibility and coverage we need & at affordable prices." Would you move away from an employer-based health insurance system?

RUBIO: Well, it's not about moving away. It's about providing an alternative to it.

Q: If you go to Washington, would you work to repeal healthcare reform?

Source: Fox News Sunday 2010 Florida primary Senate debate Mar 28, 2010

Jeb Bush: Move Medicaid from "defined benefit" to defined contribution

Bush proposed an overhaul of Medicaid that reflected another major philosophical shift in the state's program, moving it from a "defined benefit" to a "defined contribution" basis. The proposal had two significant features. The first was acceptance of a lump sum of money from the federal government to fund the state's program in exchange for flexibility to determine eligibility and benefits levels. The state took on the responsibility for meeting the health-care needs of its residents regardless of whether the costs to do so exceeded the amount negotiated between Tallahassee and Washington. If costs exceeded negotiated levels, Florida would be able to use the flexibility granted by the federal government to impose benefit restrictions and cap program enrollment in order to contain costs. This provision was designed to permit the state to more accurately predict and control its costs.

The second major change was to provide each person with a risk-adjusted allotment of funds.

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p. 38 Dec 11, 2009

Jeb Bush: Provide risk-adjusted premiums (insurance vouchers)

Announced in his State of the State Address, the governor's reform was to provide each person in the program with a risk-adjusted allotment of funds (a voucher which the state called a premium) with which to purchase health care. Using this voucher, enrollees were required to purchase a health-care plan from a participating managed-care organization. The benefit package offered had to be actuarially equivalent to the existing Medicaid benefit.

To entice companies to insure some of Florida's sickest and poorest citizens, the state proposed to cap Medicaid benefits, and set a ceiling on spending for each recipient. Managed-care companies and other health-care networks would design alternative health plans that Medicaid patients would use. Beyond that, different managed-care networks could attract patients by offering additional services. However, patients would have a choice only among managed-care plans and no longer have access to traditional fee-for-service health care.

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p. 38 Dec 11, 2009

Jeb Bush: Slashed every request for adult mental health

Bush's lowest spending priorities were for Florida agencies dealing with its most vulnerable citizens.

One embarrassing consequence of his lack of attention to social services agencies emerged in the days just before Bush left office when his secretary of the Department of Children and Families was fined and threatened with jail time for failure to provide enough beds to treat county jail inmates with severe mental illness. Records from the department showed that it had called repeatedly for funds for adult health and that Bush had slashed every request--in 1 year by 93% (Hunt, 2006; Rushing, 2006). To avoid court sanctions, the governor was forced to ask the Legislative Budget Commissions, an organization that authorizes appropriations when the legislature itself is not in session, for an additional $16.6 million for hundreds of new beds for these individuals.

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p.107 Dec 11, 2009

Jeb Bush: OpEd: Medicaid reforms won't cover chronic conditions

The Bush plan for reform of Medicaid fundamentally altered the underlying assumptions regarding the state's responsibility for helping disadvantaged citizens find medical care, and critics complained that Florida had abandoned its commitment as a social safety net for its most vulnerable citizens.

The governor proposed his plan as a way in which the state could more accurately predict and control its costs. Critics pointed out that no benefits were guaranteed , that access to care for all low-income families was questionable, and that there were no safeguards to make sure that private plans kept their promises. In particular, the AARP questioned whether or not service packages offered by the participants would be meaningful and cover the needs of persons with chronic conditions and special needs that the private market chose not to cover. It also wondered whether the premiums to be offered would be sufficient to purchase an adequate service package.

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p.152-3 Dec 11, 2009

Mitt Romney: Get everyone some form of catastrophic health coverage

We found a way to get everybody insured with private free-market health insurance. I do support an effort to get everybody some form of catastrophic coverage. It may be a public-private partnership between private insurance industries and the federal government. It may be done with the states. But Iíll bring together the governors of all 50 states, leadership in Washington, and industry representatives, to say, ďWhatís the right way to fashion this that makes the most sense for the people of America?
Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

Duncan Hunter: Romneyís plan has 1,000 mandates; drives up cost by 35%

HUNTER: I think Gov. Romneyís plan goes in exactly the wrong direction, because while it allows for private health insurance, it has lots of mandates. A good piece of those 1,000 or so mandates that drive up the cost of health care. That means that every single plan in the governorís state has to have certain things. Itís got to have, for example, fertility coverage. Well, what if youíre 90 years old? You may not need fertility coverage. Those 1,000 mandates drive up the cost of health care by about 35%. We need freedom. We need to allow people to buy their health care across state lines. That will bring down the cost of health care.

ROMNEY: We took as many mandates out as we could. And the legislature kept some there. It was a compromise. But the price of the premium for an individual [was] basically cut it in half by deregulating. Congressman, youíre absolutely right that taking regulation out of insurance brings the price down, and thatís why my plan would go state by state, & deregulate them.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

Fred Thompson: Less benefits for high-income Medicare beneficiaries

Q: You have said that we couldnít really afford the prescription drug bill that was passed under President Bush. You have talked about the possibility that high-income Medicare beneficiaries would have to accept less benefits. Are you prepared to say, tonight, that you would propose these things and make them part of your campaign?

A: Yes. As I think that you have stated them, yes. I donít want to be bound to your exact words, but the principles that youíve outlined are absolutely correct.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

John McCain: Give individuals $2500 refundable tax credits for healthcare

Q: Your plan for lowering health care costs involves switching people from employer-provided health care to policies they buy on their own. Thereís concern that could lead insurance companies to cherry-pick their clients. You also want to limit the amount doctors can charge for chronic diseases, which skeptics worry could make it difficult for people with diabetes, for example, to find doctors to take care of them. How would you deal with these two problems?

A: Last year, the Medicaid inflation was 10%. No program in the world can survive under that. So of course we want to remove the employer tax, and tax incentives, and move it to the individual. Give the individual a $2,500 refundable tax credit, a family a $5,000 tax credit. If you need to have people in special categories such as congenital diseases, we may have to set up a fund to care for those. But the key is, make health care in America affordable and available. Donít destroy it, as the Democrats want to do.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

Mike Huckabee: We donít have a healthcare system; itís a healthcare maze

We donít have a health care system. We have a health care maze. And we donít have a health care crisis. We have a health crisis. 80% of the $2 trillion we spend on health care in this country is spent on chronic disease. If we donít change the health of this nation by focusing on prevention, weíre never going to catch up with the costs no matter what plan we have.

The reality is itís a health crisis, and I would further say that one of the challenges we face is that a lot of the Democrats want to turn it over to the government, while the Republicans want to turn it over completely to the private insurance companies.

I think the better idea is to turn it over to each individual consumer and let him or her make that choice. I trust me a lot more than I trust government or a lot more than I trust the insurance companies.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

Mitt Romney: Let states create their own private, market-based insurance

Q: Does the health care plan you left in Massachusetts, which required people to get their own insurance, amount to HillaryCare? You say it was the result of a Democratic legislature.

ROMNEY: First of all, Iím not going to give the Democratic legislature credit for the plan that I helped build. I think itís a model that other states can adopt in some respects. But our plan is different than Hillary Clintonís in a lot of important ways. For Democrats, they want to have government take it over. The right answer is to get all of our citizens insured so they donít have to worry about losing their insurance if they change jobs or have a preexisting condition. But Hillary says the federal governmentís going to tell you what kind of insurance, and itís all government insurance. And I say no, let the states create their own plans, and instead of government insurance, [have] private, market-based insurance. Hillaryís plan costs an extra $110 billion. My plan doesnít cost any additional money.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

Mitt Romney: Removing most mandates drove down premium cost by half

HUNTER: Gov. Romneyís plan goes in exactly the wrong direction, because while it allows for private health insurance, it has lots of mandates. Those 1,000 or so mandates drive up the cost of health care by about 35%. We need freedom. We need to allow people to buy their health care across state lines. That will bring down the cost of health care.

ROMNEY: We took as many mandates out as we could in our policies. And the legislature kept some there. I tried to take them all out; they put some back in. It was a compromise. They put some mandates there. But, let me tell you how many we got out. The price of the premium for an individual, 42 years old, in Boston, used to $350 a month. Now, itís $180. We basically cut it in half by deregulating. Congressman, youíre absolutely right that taking regulation out of insurance brings the price down, and thatís why my plan would go state by state, deregulate them so we can get the cost of premiums down. We got the job done.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

Ron Paul: Insurance companies & govít make healthcare unaffordable

Q: You say that insurance companies and government programs have made health care simply unaffordable. You objected so strongly to Medicaid that, as a doctor, Iím told, you simply treated patients on your own, at your own expense.

A: Well, weíve had managed care, now, for about 35 years. Itís not working, and nobodyís happy with it. The doctors arenít happy. The patients arenít happy. Nobody seems to be happy--except the corporations, the drug companies and the HMOs.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

Ron Paul: Transfer funds from debt & empire-building to healthcare

We have a mess because a lot of people are very dependent on health care. But weíre going broke, with $500 billion going to debt every single year, and we have a foreign policy that is draining us. I say, take care of these poor people. Iím not against that. But save the money someplace. The only place available for us to save it is to change our attitude about running a world empire and bankrupting this country. We can take care of the poor people, save money and actually cut some of our deficit.
Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

Ron Paul: Socialized medicine wonít work; nor managed care

You donít have to throw anybody out in the street, but long term you have move toward the marketplace. You cannot expect socialized medicine of the Hillary brand to work. And you canít expect the managed care system that we have today [to work, because it] promotes and rewards the corporations. Itís the drug companies & the HMOs & even the AMA that lobbies us for this managed care, and thatís why the prices are high. Itís only in medicine that technology has raised prices rather than lowering prices.
Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: Medicare and Medicaid need a private solution

Medicare & Medicaid are presently more expensive than Social Security. And within 10 years, theyíll be twice as expensive. So theyíre going to go bankrupt a lot faster. And they need a private solution as well [as a private solution for Social Security]. What we need to do if weíre going to bring down the cost of Medicare and Medicaid is bring down the cost of the entire health insurance market. If we have 50 million or 60 million people who bought their own health insurance, the price of health insurance would be cut in more than half. The people who arenít presently covered with health insurance are not the poorest people; theyíre covered with Medicaid. The people who are presently not covered are all consumers. They have consumer power. They have to start getting into that market. Itís the only way in which you bring down costs. If you start to establish a private market, youíre going to be able to figure out how to solve these things within costs that are sustainable.
Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

Tom Tancredo: Greater individual opportunity for health savings accounts

Itís a fascinating thing to think about this, that we have moved all the way to the point of simply debating what kind of federal plan we might have rather than debating whatís the constitutional right of the federal government to get involved in this particular issue. Thatís a challenge I think we all have to accept.

Now, if thereís a federal role, I completely accept the idea of giving people the greater individual opportunity to use health savings accounts. Why? Because that takes individuals. They become the consumer in the marketplace dealing directly with the provider.

Thatís called a marketplace. That will drive down the costs. Get the federal government [out]--donít even talk about [government] responsibilities, because they always [would make people think that] naturally the federal government should be involved. It shouldnít.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

Tim Mahoney: Prescription Drug plan for seniors, not drug manufacturers

Source: 2006 House campaign website, timmahoneyforflorida.com Nov 7, 2006

Marco Rubio: Launch a marketplace of affordable health insurance

Source: 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future by Marco Rubio Nov 1, 2006

Betty Castor: Fight for a meaningful prescription drug plan

Q: Do you approve of Bushís attempt to reduce the cost of prescription drugs?

CASTOR: The new Medicare law did plenty to enrich the drug companies, but nothing to actually lower drug costs for most seniors. In fact, the new law actually tied Medicareís hands from negotiating for lower prices and it denied our seniors the right to buy high-quality, low-cost drugs from Canada. The government should be required to negotiate for the lowest prices possible. And seniors should get help locating safe and affordable drugs in Canada, until they can get them here at home. I will fight for a meaningful prescription drug plan - one that gives seniors real savings, and doesnít make false promises.

MARTINEZ: I support Bushís plan to provide prescription drug benefits to millions of Americans. It is a good first step in lowering the costs of prescription drugs for seniors. I support any good idea to reduce drug costs so long as we can assure the safety of the drug supply for patients.

Source: Florida Senate Debate, Q&A by Associated Press Oct 24, 2004

Mel Martinez: Support Bushís plan to provide prescription drug benefits

Q: Do you approve of Bushís attempt to reduce the cost of prescription drugs?

CASTOR: The new Medicare law did plenty to enrich the drug companies, but nothing to actually lower drug costs for most seniors. In fact, the new law actually tied Medicareís hands from negotiating for lower prices and it denied our seniors the right to buy high-quality, low-cost drugs from Canada. The government should be required to negotiate for the lowest prices possible. And seniors should get help locating safe and affordable drugs in Canada, until they can get them here at home. I will fight for a meaningful prescription drug plan - one that gives seniors real savings, and doesnít make false promises.

MARTINEZ: I support Bushís plan to provide prescription drug benefits to millions of Americans. It is a good first step in lowering the costs of prescription drugs for seniors. I support any good idea to reduce drug costs so long as we can assure the safety of the drug supply for patients.

Source: Florida Senate Debate, Q&A by Associated Press Oct 24, 2004

Betty Castor: Expand federal funding for embryonic stem cell research

I think we should do everything we can do to expand stem cell research .
Source: Florida Senate Debate, in St. Petersburg Times Oct 19, 2004

Jeb Bush: KidCare and Medikids: expand to 1.6M kids and then even more

Florida's KidCare program needs our attention. KidCare was created to provide insurance to children who have no other access to coverage. Today the program serves 1.6 million children-- 755,000 more than in 1998, and there are still more children waiting.

In addition to Medicaid, KidCare includes other valuable programs--specifically Medikids, Healthy Kids, and CMS. These non-Medicaid programs provide the critical safety net many parents need to ensure their children are protected. They are not offered as cheaper alternatives for parents who currently buy coverage through their employers. Florida received additional federal funds in January, a bonus for fully using the federal dollars to serve Florida's children in need. The new money will allow us to serve even more children.

Source: 2004 State of the State speech to the Florida Legislature Mar 2, 2004

Jeb Bush: No physician-assisted suicide

Q: Should physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients be legal in Florida?

A: No.

Source: 1998 Florida Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1998

  • The above quotations are from State of Florida Politicians: Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Health Care:
  Democrats:
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)

Republicans:
Amb.John Bolton(MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Rep.Peter King(NY)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Secy.Condi Rice(CA)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
2016 Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
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Page last updated: Mar 29, 2014