Rick Scott bizarrely compares Donald Trump’s alleged Ukraine quid pro quo to Medicaid fight
Rick Scott and Donald Trump.

rick scott trump dorian
Former Governor compared withholding foreign aid to dispute over health care policy.

Sen. Rick Scott deems President Donald Trump‘s alleged quid-pro-quo with Ukraine’s government as similar to President Barack Obama’s tactics expanding Medicaid.

Florida’s former Governor made the peculiar comparison when Fox News Radio asked about a newly launched impeachment inquiry on the President.

Declassified transcripts show Trump raised with Volodymyr Zelensky the need to pursue investigations of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

But when asked if Scott had any problem with that action, the Republican and Trump ally changed topics to the last Democratic president.

“Let me give you a story,” Scott said. “I sat in there trying to get health care for my state. I’m the Governor of Florida. The Obama administration said in writing, said if you don’t expand Medicaid, we’re going to withhold a billion dollars of money to help your poorest families.

“And they did it and they said it in writing. Did anybody care? And they said it, and they have it in writing they said it. I mean it was clear. They put it in a letter to me. Nobody complained.”

Scott spokesman Chris Hartline later made clear on Twitter that Scott referenced Low Income Pool funding.

Of course, there were plenty who complained about the decision at the time for the Obama administration to withhold LIP funding from Florida not participating in a Medicaid expansion. The state’s right to opt out of the marketplace was a key win for Scott in the Supreme Court’s ruling on application of the Affordable Care Act.

Jonathan Ingram and Josh Archambault of the Foundation for Government Accountability characterized the move as “Sopranos-style blackmail” in a contribution to Forbes.

And Scott’s administration did not ignore the slight either, and, in fact, sued the Obama administration over the issue. That led the state and federal administrations to an agreement in principle on Medicaid.

But it’s an odd comparison anyway, as Florida is a state in the union, not a foreign government, much less a nation under perpetual threat of invasion by a global superpower many have criticized the President for coddling.

Regardless of that part of the new Scott statement, the Senator dismisses the Ukraine conversation’s significance comparing it instead to a policy disagreement. But there was never public controversy over foreign aid to Ukraine before Trump froze $391 million designated to assist the nation.

The Washington Post reports Trump personally asked acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to freeze expenditures in mid-July, at least a week before a now-infamous conversation between Trump and Zelensky.

But perhaps the most important problem with the comparison between LIP funding and foreign aid is that Trump did not suggest any policy disagreement between his administration and the new leader in Ukraine. In fact, the transcripts released by the White House show Trump praising the new leader’s approach to governance, and Zelensky promising to imitate Trump.

(The released account is not a word-for-word transcription but one compiled to the best recollection of Trump officials on the call.)

Rather than asking for any deference on a matter of policy, Trump raised the subject of an investigation into the Bidens as a “favor.”

Obama and Scott disagreed about health care policy.

Obama wanted Scott to accept more than a billion in federal funding for health care as Scott was refusing to participate in a program intended to expand health care access.

Trump and Zelensky apparently disagreed over nothing, at least by the White House account. The President just inferred it would be a good idea for the foreign nation to investigate a company tied to a partisan political opponent.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


6 comments

  • Jodi Hart

    September 25, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    Yes everyone here in Florida did care but yoy are a disgusting and heartless man who nevee cared about Florida’s most vulnerable poulation. Especially on expanding Medicaid which would have helped hundreds of thousands of families. So do not sit there with that stupid petophile bizzare look on your face and have the balls to make that comment. Thank God you are no longer Governor. You take your greed and go live under a rock.

    • gary

      September 26, 2019 at 1:54 pm

      Wow! Totally triggered! Liberals are so emotional. No logic!

  • Becky Jamin

    September 25, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    @Rick Scott, you are one of the biggest criminals in Florida! Medicaid fraud! BILLIONS! You are the pot calling the kettle black! GO AWAY!!!

  • NoMoreRepublicans!

    September 26, 2019 at 11:26 am

    HA, HA, HA! The picture says it all. ‘Gotti’ and ‘Bulger’ … failed CEOs of criminal enterprises. Both of them should have been in prison cells … NOT the Governor’s Mansion and the White House! What the hell is the matter with the voters of this state and this country!?!?

  • gary

    September 26, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    Rick Scott, thank you for all you did and continue to do for Florida!

  • Laurie

    October 2, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    Worst governor Florida ever had!

Comments are closed.


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