President Barack Obama’s healthcare plan will raise costs for the American people, and his rollback on the birth control rule will still force religious groups to pay for something they consider a sin, Florida Gov. Rick Scott told Newsmax.TV.
“The government should not be telling us what to buy with our money,” Scott said in an interview on the sidelines of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.
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Faced with a firestorm of criticism, Obama on Friday backed off a rule requiring religious-affiliated institutions such as Catholic hospitals and schools to provide their employees with health insurance that covers birth control and sterilization. Obama said the responsibility for covering contraception would now be passed directly to the insurers.
Scott dismissed that as mere semantics.
“The money is going to be coming out of the Catholic institution’s pocket,” he said, “so they are paying for it.”
He said Obama’s health care plan can’t work because the government will promise all kinds of services that it can’t afford, then underpay providers, which will only force up the price of health care and leave patients with fewer choices.
“It’s going to be horrible for patients,” he said. “It’s going to be devastating for our economy. When the government gets more involved in something they take away your rights.”
The Florida governor said the best way to drive down health care costs is to increase competition by allowing insurers to sell policies across state lines and to make health care providers post their prices. He also said individuals should be given tax breaks, just like an employer, and should receive credit for healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercising and not smoking.
Scott said unemployment dropped 2.1 percent in his state last year because tax breaks were making Florida a desirable place to do business.
“What I am doing with our state budget is I’m looking at where should we spend our money,” he said.
He tod Newsmax.TV that Florida would be pouring $1 billion into education so the state would continue to produce qualified workers.
Scott said he was confident that the state’s plan to drug-test welfare recipients, now mired in the courts, would in the end be upheld.
“It’s the right thing to do. This is money that’s supposed to go for a needy child,” he said. “It shouldn’t go to a parent who’s using drugs. It can go to the other parent or a grandparent or a guardian” who will make sure the money is used for the child.
“Why should you as a taxpayer that’s hardworking, why should you be subsidizing someone using drugs?” he said.
Mitt Romney easily won Florida’s Republican presidential primary,
but Scott has not endorsed any one candidate.
“My goal is to the the voters decide,” he told Newsmax.TV. “We’ve learned a lot about these candidates, we’ve learned what their platforms are.”
Now the question, he said, is “which one of them is going to turn our economy around?”
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