After relentlessly campaigning to abolish health care reform, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) has taken every opportunity to slash health care coverage for the poor, elderly, and disabled. Since taking office in January, Scott has enacted a landmark Medicaid privatization scheme, rejected millions in federal health aid for seniors, children, and the disabled, and even turned down $52 million in federal funding to fight child abuse.
Scott is a former private health industry executive who made his fortune downsizing hospitals for profit. He clearly has no problem making low-income Floridians pay more for basic health services. Yet when it comes to his own health insurance, Scott is only too happy to take advantage of a plan that lets him pay less than $400 a year — courtesy of taxpayers:
Gov. Rick Scott, a critic of the federal health care overhaul, is paying less than $400 a year for health insurance for himself and his wife.
While Scott is accepting no salary for his job as governor, the multimillionaire and former hospital chain executive chose to enroll in the taxpayer-subsidized health insurance plan offered by the state of Florida.
Scott is among nearly 32,000 people in state government who pay relatively low health insurance premiums. It’s a perk that is available to high-ranking state officials, including those in top management at all state agencies.
Nearly all 160 state legislators are also enrolled in the program that costs just $8.34 a month for individual coverage and $30 a month for family coverage.
In contrast, rank-and-file state workers pay $50 a month for individual coverage and $180 a month for family coverage. In 2010, the average American family with employer coverage paid $13,770 for health insurance. Florida also has one of the highest uninsured rates in the nation.
A Scott spokesman refused to comment on the governor’s exclusive, taxpayer-funded health care plan, calling it a “private matter.”
State Sen. Nan Rich (D) says it’s unfortunate that the governor is taking advantage of this plan while fighting to keep other Floridians from getting access to health insurance coverage. “I wish every Floridian had the same opportunity,” she said.