TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — First term Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a former executive of health care giant Columbia/HCA, plays loose with facts truth when talking about the national Affordable Care Act.
Politifact recently ranked four of Scott's statements about the act and all four were rated false or mostly false. PolitiFact is a project of the Tampa Bay Times and its partners to help you find the truth in politics.
Here are the statements:
- PANTS ON FIRE: A company with "20 employees" could go "out of business" because of health care law requirements to buy insurance. PolitiFact's Ruling: Blatantly wrong.
- MOSTLTY FALSE: Scott claims the Congressional Budget Office "said if you’re going to buy your own policy with these (health care) exchanges you’ll be paying 10 percent more ... about $2,100 more for a family." PolitiFact's Ruling: Scott left out important details.
- FALSE: The Medicaid expansion is "going to cost Florida $1.9 billion a year." PolitiFact's Ruling: Scott inflated and oversimplified estimates.
- FALSE: Says the health care law rations care, like systems in Canada and Great Britain. PolitiFact's Ruling: The rationing charge is empty rhetoric.
There is a great deal of misinformation uttered by foes of a national health policy.
- FALSE: House Minority Leader Nancy Polosi says under the health care law, "everybody will have lower rates, better quality care and better access." PoliticFact's ruling: Not everyone will get more and pay less.
- FALSE: Virginia's George Allen claims President Obama's health care law is "a government takeover of healthcare." PolitiFact's ruling: A flashood that won't die.
- HALF TRUE: President Barack Obama claims "If you're one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance." PolitiFact's Ruling: Americans aren't so lucky today, even before this law is in force
- FALSE: GOP presidential candiate Mitt Romney says "Obamacare … means that for up to 20 million Americans, they will lose the insurance they currently have, the insurance that they like and they want to keep." PolitiFact's Ruling: Cherry-picked number that lacks key contextcontext
Supreme Court repeal threat
Both House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have vowed to repeal the act.
That's easier said than done. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precedent
U.S. law operates under the doctrine of stare decisis, which means that prior decisions should be maintained -- even if the current court would otherwise rule differently -- and that lower courts must abide by the prior decisions of higher courts. The idea is based on a belief that government needs to be relatively stable and predictable.
No single entity - not the President, Senate, House of Representatives, state Governors, nor anyone else - has the power to overturn a US Supreme Court ruling. That's why they call it the Supreme Court.
There are two ways to overturn a supreme court ruling:
01The U.S. Supreme Court reverses a decision on an earlier case by making a contradictory decision on a current case.
02Congress and the States can overturn a decision by amending the Constitution.
Congress can always modify the law until it is such that the Supreme Court does not consider it to violate the Constitution, then pass it again.
Read More: 10 Overturned Supreme Court Decisions
Scott's past record
Scott is not a stranger to fraud.
In 1997, investigators from the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Health and Human Services served search warrants at Columbia/HCA facilities in El Paso and on dozens of doctors with suspected ties to the company. Columbia/HCA's board pressured Scott to resign as chairman and CEO after the inquiry. He was paid $9.88 million in a settlement. He also left owning 10 million shares of stock worth more $350 million. Columbia/HCA changed its name back to HCA Inc.
Columbia/HCA pled guilty to 14 felonies and agreed to a $600+ million fine in the largest fraud settlement in U.S. history. Columbia/HCA admitted systematically overcharging the government by claiming marketing costs as reimbursable, by striking illegal deals with home care agencies, and by filing false data about use of hospital space.
Scott announced his candidacy for the GOP nomination for governor of Florida.
The Fort Myers News Press quoted Scott as saying in total he spent $78 million of his own money on the campaign, although other figures indicate he spent slightly over $75 million.
PolitiFact won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for coverage of the 2008 election for "probing reporters and the power of the World Wide Web to examine more than 750 political claims, separating rhetoric from truth to enlighten voters."