Florida's Cannon: States Should Control Healthcare Spending

Sunday, 06 Dec 2009 06:58 PM

By Dan Weil

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Florida House Speaker-designate Dean Cannon says he hopes Florida can garner a waiver on how it spends federal funds if healthcare reform passes.

The Winter Park Republican told Newsmax.TV that he and Republican State Sen. Mike Haridopolos have discussed asking the federal government for such a waiver, giving the state more flexibility in allocating healthcare funds.

“If we successfully procure that, then I think we’re much better suited at the state level to make those decisions with public healthcare dollars,” Cannon said during an interview with Newsmax.TV's Ashley Martella and Kathleen Walter.

See Video: Florida House Speaker-designate Dean Cannon explains why states should control healthcare spending - Click Here Now

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He thinks reform at the state level would work better. “The federal government gives money to the states, but then requires them to expand benefits and controls our ability to spend those dollars wisely,” Cannon said.

“If the federal government proceeds and passes on that essentially giant unfunded mandate to the states, not just Florida, but potentially a large number of our sister states are in great jeopardy.”

Government spending isn’t the answer for Florida’s recession, Cannon said.

“We need to remember that excessive borrowing and rampant spending by the public sector won’t get us out of it. We need to recognize that government needs to shrink and adjust just like families and businesses’ budgets have.”

Florida’s budget woes represent the legislature’s top priority, Cannon said.

“Florida has been wiser than a lot of our sister states to not try to increase taxes to raise revenue at a tough time. . . The private sector knows how to spend and manage a dollar much better than the public sector.”

Cannon supports offshore oil drilling as a means to move toward renewable energy sources and wean ourselves from oil imports.

“Let’s use the resources we have today to help fund the development of the renewable sources that will one day last forever and to help us be energy independent in the short run, so that we’re less dependent on foreign oil.”

The vast majority of Floridians support offshore drilling as long as it is done safely and in a way that protects the environment, Cannon said.

“The risk of drilling is much less than the threats we have already today up and down the Gulf Coast,” such as hurricanes, he said.

See Video: Florida House Speaker-designate Dean Cannon explains why states should control healthcare spending - Click Here Now

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