Rick Scott: In His Own Words

By Dara Kam

After handing out awards to veterans on Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott fielded a few questions from reporters in the Capitol courtyard.

Here’s a transcript, one in a continuing series of Scott’s “gaggles,” of the 2 minute and 18 seconds Q-and-A.

Q: There is legislation going up before the Senate, Charlotte’s Web, a medical marijuana derivative. What’s your thoughts on that? You’ve come out against the medical marijuana amendments, but what about Charlotte’s Web?’

Scott: First off, any time anybody believes anything is going to help them, you feel sorry for their families, because you know anybody who has a disease you worry about them.  I know the FDA is looking at that.  I’ll review whatever I get.

Q: Governor, the Senate has passed what is dubbed the Florida GI Bill today, and the House has passed it. It’s headed to your desk.  Your thoughts on that legislation?  Is it something you’re going to sign?

Scott: I’m excited that we care about our military.  I’m excited that the House and Senate, they care to make sure that our military can continue their education at a price they can afford.  It’s a great bill and I look forward to signing it.

Q: The Tampa Bay Times just published an investigation regarding the fees that trauma centers can charge patients the moment they arrive. It can go up to $33,000 before any procedure is done. Is this proper in your mind? And what should the government’s role be to monitor these fees?

Scott: What I’ve always believed in healthcare is people need to know what it’s going to cost. You know, let’s create competition so patients have an option. Let’s make sure people can afford to buy the insurance they want to buy, at least make sure to reward people for taking care of themselves so in the case of health care I want to make sure that it’s transparent people know what it’s going to cost them.

Q: With trauma centers, you can’t determine which you are going to and usually there is an accident that you can’t control to become a trauma patient, so what should government’s role be in regulating these fees?

Scott: I believe in transparency. I think people ought to know what things are going to cost.

Q:  You did launch an ad, your people are launching an ad, and I just wanted to get your thoughts, that you feel you have to get with an ad now this early because you are concerned about those poll numbers?

Scott: It’s exciting. What the ad does is talk about my background, why I care so much about jobs.  Look, I grew up in public housing.  I know what it’s like to have parents lose their car. I know that the most important thing to do is create an environment where every family can get a job.   People need jobs.  And we’ve had a big turnaround in our state, but there are still people who need to work and I want to work at that every day.

The News Service of Florida