Interviews

Rick Scott on ObamaCare: The free market clearly works

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," January 19, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST:  With me right now is the governor of Florida, Rick Scott, very integral to making this moment possible and getting Donald Trump over the finish line to be the president-elect and tomorrow the president of the United States.  

Governor Rick Scott, good to see you.  

GOV. RICK SCOTT, R-FLORIDA:  Trying to make sure we have some Florida weather tomorrow.  

CAVUTO:  I know.  I know.  Yes, we got a little bit of both.  Right?  

SCOTT:  The sun finally came out today.  

CAVUTO:  All right.  

Do you -- Congressman Cleaver and I were getting into it.  And I have gotten in it with other guests, all these ones who are not going to show up, these 68, 69 congress men and women who aren't showing up.  He was more or less saying you're free to do that, and you're free to protest.  But this is more than the president.  This is about the presidency.  

This is about the institutions that bind us.  What do you make of that?  

SCOTT:  We have a peaceful transition of power.  It's exciting what's going on.  

Now, for me, it's exciting because I have a president that now I think I can work with that is going to return my phone calls and a vice president, two individuals I have known for a long time.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:  When you say return your phone calls, did Barack Obama not?  

SCOTT:  It was hard to get things done with the federal government.  All we got was, without any input, we got a lot of regulations.  

I have been very focused on health care, as you know.  We have got to -- look, I grew up with no health care.  I grew up in public housing.  I watched my mom struggle when my brother had a disease.  And nobody would take care of him and she had to drive four hours away to a Shriners Hospital.  I ran a large hospital company.

I care about people getting health care.  And if you look at what the president has done, President Obama has done, high cost, high premiums, very difficult to work with from a state standpoint.  No flexibility.  I think it's a -- this is the first time I have been at the table.  

CAVUTO:  All right, but you know the effort that Republicans are leading. And they succeeded with a vote in the Senate and in the House to repeal the Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare.  

But Rand Paul and others have expressed concern, we have got to have a replacement fast.  Rand Paul wanted it simultaneously.  

All right, I do want to break away from this.  

(BREAK)

CAVUTO:  All right.  You're looking at the Lincoln Memorial right now.

Of course, this is the Make America Great Concert, one of many events that will kick off and include and run through tomorrow, now, two events planned until late into tomorrow evening to commemorate the quadrennial event we call inaugurations, not so much just for this individual attaining the White House, but the White House, these institutions, something Florida Governor Rick Scott and I were getting into, that this is a day that no matter your vote preferences, I think we can fairly say, Governor, this is a day to celebrate America.  

SCOTT:  Don't you love color guards?  Don't you love "The Star-Spangled Banner"?  It makes you feel good.

CAVUTO:  Stunning.  Stunning.  

SCOTT:  They should have done "Anchors Away."  I was in the service.  I was in the Navy.  So, I was looking forward to "Anchors Away."

CAVUTO:  That could come.  That could come.  That could come.  

SCOTT:  But I'm sure it will.  

CAVUTO:  We were talking a little bit, too, about getting into the nitty- gritty after all the pomp and circumstance.  

And one of those things will be this health care law and finding a replacement for it after repealing it.  Are you worried that the longer that gap is, the more problematic it could be?  

SCOTT:  Look, we have got to repeal it.  It's caused premiums to go up. People are having a difficult time paying for their health care, whether it's an individual, a company or taxpayers.  

And we have to repeal it and we have got to come up with something that is going to get people access.  

CAVUTO:  But a lot of Republicans are getting worried.  

You have seen the CBO study that upwards of 20 million more down the road, if you factor those who would normally get it in the cycle of events, up to 36 million won't get it, or have it removed by 2026 if we repeal it.  

That's obvious, if you repeal and don't replace it.  But how soon should they replace it?  

SCOTT:  You know, I think Congress is going to be very deliberate.  

I'm going to do all I can to be helpful to them.  But we have got to get rid of it.  We need to do it as quickly as we can and come up with something that is free market.  We all want people to get health care.  I want everybody -- every Floridian, I want them to be able to afford their health care or have a safety net.  

But what they have done with ObamaCare just continues to make it worse and worse and worse.  So Donald Trump was clear.  He wants to repeal it.  And so I think everybody ought to understand that we need to get rid of it and we will work hard to come up with something that is better.  I think the free market clearly works.  It's worked.  I have watched it work.  

CAVUTO:  Let me ask you finally about the other issue here that has to do with tax cuts and that there seems to be indications the Trump administration will do this in two ways.  

One is a corporate tax cut, then gets to the individual tax rates.  The first part, that corporate tax cut, presumably might involve something to get Democrats on board, infrastructure spending.  Details are sketchy.  And even the outline I gave you could be wrong.  What do you think of that?  

SCOTT:  We have got to cut taxes.  I have cut taxes 55 times since I got elected now in six sessions.  

We have to do it as quickly as we can, but we also have to control the size of government.  I have cut 25 percent of the debt in my state.  I walked in with a $4 billion budget deficit.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:  But do you think that it's possible then that people who were looking forward to big, big tax cuts, we just can't afford them?  

SCOTT:  Oh, no.  We have got to cut taxes.  We can't put our companies at a global disadvantage.  

We have got to get everything -- we have got to make it so our companies can succeed better than anyplace else.  When you do that, you are going to see more jobs.  In my state, revenues are growing.  The same thing will happen with the federal government if you start cutting taxes.  

CAVUTO:  All right, Governor, thank you very much.

END

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