OTR Interviews

ObamaCare extortion? Why Fla. Gov. Rick Scott is suing the Obama administration

Fla. governor says the Obama administration is withholding federal funds, trying to coerce Sunshine State into expanding Medicaid

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 16, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, 'ON THE RECORD' GUEST HOST: Florida Governor Rick Scott, suing the president. He said the president has gone too far, cutting off federal healthcare dollars to his state, all in an effort to expand ObamaCare.

Governor Rick Scott joins us. Governor, thanks for going On the Record tonight and we want to hear more about why you are suing the administration.

RICK SCOTT, FLORIDA GOVERNOR: Kimberly, it's outrageous. The federal government started a program in our state in 2006. It's called the low income pool. It's for low income families. Now, what they are saying is they are not going to keep that program going unless the state expands ObamaCare. So this first off is horrible.

GUILFOYLE: It sounds like extortion.

SCOTT: Absolutely. It's - first off, you think about the families at our state that are relying on this. Second, Justice Roberts said, The NFIB versus Sebelius, that it's not lawful for the federal government, for the Obama administration, to use coercion tactics, basically held a gun to our head, if we don't expand ObamaCare. They say they can't do that. So - and by the way they are not cutting our federal taxes in doing this. They did not say, "Oh, we will cut your federal taxes because we are going to cut out your program." So our taxpayers are still paying for the federal government.

GUILFOYLE: Right.

SCOTT: But they are going to cut out a program and try to hold a gun to our head.

GUILFOYLE: All right. So when are you going to file this lawsuit?

SCOTT: We're working with our attorney general, Pam Bondi. We have a great attorney general in our state.

GUILFOYLE: Yes. That's my friend.

SCOTT: We'll work with them to make sure - yes. She is a good friends of yours. And we're working with her to do this in the right manner. But we're going --I'm going to stand up for every citizen in our state. One, the citizens that have a program that they are relying on, those that can't afford their own health care, that's one. Then two, the rest of our citizens that are saying, "You know, we are paying our federal taxes and we are not going to let the federal government tell us how to run our state." That's outrageous. It's not what the Supreme Court allows. And so we're going to stand up for all 20 million people in our state.

GUILFOYLE: Well, I think, you know, with Pam Bondi filing this and you on top of it, this is really a compelling issue. There are serious constitutional implications as a former prosecutor myself. It seems that you are on some serious strong ground with the president, with the comments from the chief justice that this should not be allowed and it should be precedent setting for other states if they are compelled in this way, forced against their will to expand and feed the behemoth that has become ObamaCare.

SCOTT: Absolutely. But don't they care about the low income families that they have already created a program for in our state?

GUILFOYLE: Sure.

SCOTT: And doesn't everybody now understand that this is an administration that's going to use coercion tactic and when it's appropriate they'll cut back funding if you don't do another program they want.

GUILFOYLE: Right. The penalty. Yes.

(Crosstalk)

SCOTT: That's not the way the federal government is supposed to work. Absolutely. It's not the way we expect our federal government. We're supposed to be able to run our state.

GUILFOYLE: Well, it's a shakedown to the states. If you don't do what we say....

SCOTT: Absolutely.

GUILFOYLE: . ...because we're gig bigger than you, and we're going to bully you and we're going to force you and penalize you and it's really just hurting the lower income families by doing this.

SCOTT: Absolutely. One, they don't care about the low income families because they are willing to walk away from a program. And then, two, they are using bully -- this is a Sopranos. They are using bullying tactics to attack our state. It's wrong. It's outrageous just that they're doing this.

GUILFOYLE: Well -- but you're standing up for all Floridians. So I think that's fantastic. And you know, this is so important we get the message out there and that we learn about these issues because it's going to be facing the other states as well. Governor, such a pleasure. Thank you for coming on here tonight.

SCOTT: Nice talking to you, Kimberly.

GUILFOYLE: All right.

SCOTT: Have a great evening.