Charlie Crist on Health Care
Yet Crist has little choice but to embrace the law right now. Crist needs to prove his Democratic bona fides; the Democratic base approves of the law. "I think it's been great," Crist said in a CNN interview last Sunday.
Gov. Rick Scott's team released a web ad highlighting Crist's support for the law and Pres. Obama's latest backtrack on the law when he admitted some people might not be able to keep their doctors, despite the president's prior promise.
In 2010, Crist said the Medicare Advantage cuts were reason alone to vote against the legislation. Now, as a Democrat, he's using the "keep and fix" argument. "I don't support the cuts to Medicare Advantage," Crist said. "In every major law, there are things you like & things you don't. The President & Congress should fix it."
I didn't agree with everything Barack Obama did. I didn't love the president's health-care plan. I thought it was too big, too complicated, and too bureaucratic. I didn't like the way it had inched through Congress, twisted and turned by so many special-interest groups. But I wasn't a crazy zealot on the topic. I wasn't shouting that Obamacare was about to wreck America. I actually liked many of its planks--covering people with previous medical conditions, eliminating lifetime benefit caps, and helping millions of people afford health insurance. Once the act became law, I was far more interested in making the new system work for people than endlessly trashing it and stirring up the base. There I was, being moderate again!
Let's Get to Work is now running a television ad showing clips of Crist expressing his support for Obama's law.
"Charlie Crist's unwavering support of ObamaCare and its disastrous effects on the 300,000 Floridians that are losing their current health insurance plans is alarming," said the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) on Monday. "Plain and simple, Florida cannot afford Charlie Crist and the liberal Obama agenda."
CRIST: Pre-existing instances should not be a discriminatory tool used by insurance companies to not give people insurance. We need to repeal this thing. Let's start over. The real problems with health care are access and affordability. And we have approached those in Florida, a plan called Cover Florida. No tax dollars involved. No government mandates. I think Washington could learn a lot from Florida.
Q: We looked into Cover Florida--stripped-down insurance for stripped-down prices. As you say, all voluntary. But only 0.1% of Florida's uninsured have signed up for it, 5,000 out of millions of people.
CRIST: It's about 6,000 now. Every individual of those 6,000 now has that peace of mind, doesn't have to worry about their child having a catastrophic illness.
Q: But it's hardly "Cover Florida."
CRIST: Well, I think it's important that it's Cover Families. People who get it like it.
Q: With all due respect, waste and fraud--people have been talking about it for years. Don't you actually have to make some benefit changes if you're going to deal with this debt issue?
CRIST: You might have to make some, but I think what you want to do first is get the waste and the fraud out.
Q: Such as what?
CRIST: I think you have to have strict enforcement. You have to have U.S. attorneys that go after this with a serious approach and realize that in order for these programs to be able to survive so that my children and my grandchildren have an opportunity to be able to benefit from them, we have to spend less by getting waste and fraud out of these systems.
Crist’s “Cover Florida” proposal would not come with a state mandate that individuals had to buy it or employers had to offer it. And it would give insurance companies lots of leeway in deciding how to structure such a health plan--as long
A $150-per-month health-insurance policy “can’t get you comprehensive coverage,” says one analyst; such a plan would either have sky-high deductibles for hospital stays or have no hospitalization coverage at all. Another analyst replies, “Anything that moves some number of people from the uninsured category into the insured category is a good thing that is worth considering.”
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