Editor’s Note: Rick Scott is the Republican governor of Florida and was the co-founder of the Columbia Hospital Corporation. The views expressed in this commentary are solely his.
Florida's governor says Dems want to convince public that it would be uncompassionate to roll back the welfare state
True compassion is helping create opportunities to get education, jobs, and help to drive down cost of health care, he says
At the heart of the current debate in Washington on how, if and when to repeal and replace Obamacare, there is one fundamental aspect of the discussion that deserves more attention than it’s getting. With Obamacare, President Obama enacted a massive expansion of the welfare state. And, not surprisingly, Obamacare has resulted in widespread increases in premiums and costs are expected to continue increasing.
Now the Democrats are trying to convince the public that it would somehow be uncompassionate, dangerous, and irresponsible to roll back the welfare state and allow states to use block grants for Medicaid. This argument from Washington is absurd.
True compassion for people is helping to create opportunities to get an education, to get a job, and help to drive down the cost of health care. If President Obama had driven health care costs down, instead of up, more people could buy it. If more people had good paying jobs, they could afford health care.
States can do a far better job administering the Medicaid program than the federal government can. If Florida is given the flexibility to run our own Medicaid program, we will be more efficient and less wasteful than the federal government.
In fact, states can do pretty much anything in a more efficient and less wasteful manner than the federal government. If you want to waste money and have gross inefficiencies, the federal government in Washington is the place for you.
Liberal Democrats love Washington-based federal government programs. The more the merrier is what they think. This is how they measure success – more welfare, more food stamps, more Medicaid.
This is their game plan for America: everything for free, provided by the government, paid for with your tax dollars. There is a name for this approach, and it is called socialism. President Obama gave it a try, and in the process he proved what we already knew – it does not work.
Success is spending less on welfare, less on food stamps, and less on Medicaid because fewer people will need those services. This is not because we are cold-hearted, but because we actually care about people – not programs – and want to see them succeed.
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I grew up in public housing with parents who struggled to find steady work. I also know what it is like not to have access to health care. From my own experience, I can assure you of this – if you really care about someone, you will help them get off of government assistance programs, not on them.
A safety net for the truly needy is crucial, but Democrats seeking to continually define more and more people as truly needy will bankrupt the country and devalue the dignity of hard work. Government assistance must be the last resort, not the first stop. This is no time for Republicans to go wobbly or get weak in the knees about repealing Obamacare. If we refuse to roll back the welfare state, what real purpose do we serve?