Rick Scott was elected Governor of Florida in 2010 by a razor-thin margin that many attribute to his strong support from the Tea Party movement. A large portion of that support was garnered through his highly public opposition to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. However, with the small exception of my Congressional district electing batshit crazy Tea Partier Ted Yoho in 2012, it appears that the Tea Party is on a bit of a retreat in Florida and so, with Charlie Crist now looking like a very formidable opponent for the 2014 gubernatorial race, Scott is systematically reversing his position on a number of issues away from the crazy and toward both the human and the humane.
A huge step in Scott’s attempted move back toward humanity took place early yesterday evening, as he announced his support for Florida participating in expansion of Medicaid under the ACA. He even resorted to the death of his mother to justify the move:
The governor said he gained new perspective after his mother’s death last year, calling his decision to support a key provision of the Affordable Care Act a “compassionate, common sense step forward,” and not a “white flag of surrender to government-run healthcare.”
However, the representatives of Professional Crazy were not amused by this development. From the same AP article:
“I am flabbergasted. This is a guy who, before he was a candidate for governor, started an organization to fight ‘Obamacare’ in the expansion of medical entitlements. This is a guy who said it will never happen on his watch. Well, here it is,” said Slade O’Brien, Florida director of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity.
In other words, AFP notes that Scott was just one more of their huge investments that produced very poor returns.
And McClatchy brings us the Tea Party response, thankfully translated from the original jibberish:
“This is just another example of Republicans lying to Floridians,” said Everett Wilkinson of Palm Beach Gardens, calling Scott “the Benedict Arnold to the patriot and tea party movement in Florida.”
Of course, Florida’s Grifter in Chief (who still holds the record for the largest federal fine paid by a company for Medicare fraud) wouldn’t make this move if he couldn’t further enrich his old HCA co-conspirators or other corporate fraudsters, and so he has engineered a new opportunity. From the AP article: Continue reading
We’ve long known that many of the techniques used to combat terrorism derived from the drug war. We’ve known that law enforcement agencies around the country are adopting counterterrorism techniques–and even PATRIOT Act tools–in regular law enforcement.
Robert Mueller just explained that the FBI is taking lessons learned in its counterterrorism intelligence techniques to combat healthcare fraud.
The comment was in response to a question from Amy Klobuchar. She noted that MN has pretty good success at cracking down on healthcare fraud, but inquired about “hot spots” in healthcare fraud.
Mueller responded by lauding the lessons FBI has learned in counterterrorism, then said [these are my notes–I’ll check his exact quote later], “building an intelligence infrastructure across the country allows us to see where … they’re going to go to next,” implying that they were using intelligence techniques to figure out where new healthcare fraud networks were going to pop up next.
Now, as Josh Gerstein noted on Twitter, FBI used the kind of administrative subpoenas now used to combat terrorism before they were used for terrorism. But Mueller’s comment seemed to suggest far more: I assume, given his reference to intelligence networks, FBI is using informants and the like to infiltrate suspected healthcare fraud networks.
I’m all in favor of making sure Medicare and Medicaid money goes to healthcare. But isn’t the use of intelligence networks in the healthcare industry rather invasive?