Most governors attempt to step away from potential conflicts of interest, avoiding mixing the health of the state with their own financial well-being. But Florida’s Governor Rick Scott appears to be wallowing knee deep in it instead.
Via Mother Jones:
Republican governor Rick Scott’s push to privatize Medicaid in Florida is highly controversial—not least because the health care business Scott handed over to his wife when he took office could reap a major profit if the legislation becomes law.
Scott and Florida Republicans are currently trying to enact a sweeping Medicaid reform bill that would give HMOs and other private health care companies unprecedented control over the government health care program for the poor. Among the companies that stand to benefit from the bill is Solantic, a chain of urgent-care clinics aimed at providing emergency services to walk-in customers. The Florida governor founded Solantic in 2001, only a few years after he resigned as the CEO of hospital giant Columbia/HCA amid a massive Medicare fraud scandal. In January, he transferred his $62 million stake in Solantic to his wife, Ann Scott, a homemaker involved in various charitable organizations.
Think it’s just a coincidence that Scott is pushing reform that would financially benefit his own household? Mother Jones points out that it’s not just in this bill that the Scotts could cash in, but in the governor’s mandates for drug testing, too.
With Scott’s blessing, the Florida statehouse is currently hammering out the final details of the Medicaid bill, with a vote expected in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, Scott has moved forward on another front that could also bring new business to Solantic. On Tuesday, he signed an executive order requiring random drug testing of many state employees and applicants for state jobs. He’s also urged state legislators to pass a similar bill that would require drug testing of poor Floridians applying for welfare.
Among the services that Solantic offers: drug testing.
No wonder Rick Scott is being referred to as the next Scott Walker.