Florida Gov. Rick Scott tells Newsmax that Obamacare is “the biggest job killer ever” and “absolutely has to be repealed” to get the American economy going again.
Scott, who is in Orlando for the P5 (Presidential 5) conference the Florida GOP is hosting, will deliver the keynote speech Saturday afternoon before 3,500 delegates vote in the state’s straw poll, which Scott says is crucial to the Republican hopefuls.
The first-term governor, who is making a strong push to improve the economy and jobs market in the Sunshine State, sat down with Newsmax for an exclusive interview after attending the Republican presidential debate Thursday night in Orlando. Political analysts from all political spectrums seemed to agree that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney outperformed Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who had snatched front-runner status from Romney in most polls, in the televised debate.
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Scott maintains that a candidate must win in Florida in order to win the presidential election.
“You look at the number of delegates. You look at history,” he explains.
“You look at Saturday’s P5 straw poll, the individuals who have won that — Reagan in ’79, George H.W. Bush in ’87, and Bob Dole in ’95 — they went on to win the Republican nomination.
“This is an important state, a microcosm of the country.”
Asked which GOP presidential candidate’s views reflect his own most closely, Scott wouldn’t single out an individual but said all the Republican hopefuls “share the core beliefs of limited government, more personal freedom, and personal responsibility.”
Scott, the former CEO of one of America’s largest healthcare companies, tells Newsmax he strongly favors repealing the healthcare reform plan of President Obama Barack and the Democrats.
“When we started having a discussion about healthcare, the idea was that we were going to reduce the cost of healthcare. This does just the opposite,” he says.
“Obamacare will be the biggest job killer ever. People are worried about starting companies, adding jobs, because of the cost of that.
“The government always runs out of money when they have government programs, so we’re clearly going to ration care if Obamacare goes into effect. The tax increases are just going to kill businesses, and the expansion of Medicaid will kill our state budgets. So it’s a disaster.
“It needs to be repealed. Hopefully, it will be declared unconstitutional, at least the individual mandate. But it absolutely has to be repealed to get our economy going again.”
Romney says that he would order the Department of Health and Human Services on day one of his presidency to immediately grant waivers from Obamacare to all 50 states.
Asked whether that is a good idea, Scott responds: “Absolutely. Anything we can do to stop this. It makes no sense.
“Think about it. If you wanted to actually improve healthcare, what would you do? You’d make sure that everybody had a choice about their healthcare plan, as many providers as possible, you’d make sure that everybody posted their prices so you know what things cost, you’d give individuals the same tax breaks that employers get. Pre-existing conditions would be less of an issue because you would own your policy when you changed jobs. And you would reward people for taking care of themselves.
“If you did all of those things, the cost of healthcare would come down. More people could afford healthcare. That would solve the problem, not some big government program.”
Scott says “I completely oppose” the Texas program, which Gov. Perry defends, of granting in-state tuition rates to illegal alien college students.
And as for unemployment in his state, Scott says this has been “a great year” for job creation, pointing to five straight months of a dropping unemployment rate in Florida.
“How do we make sure that this is the place where people want to do business? You do it by lower taxes, by less regulation,” he adds.
“You do it by having the attitude that we like business people coming into our state.”