Poor Insurance Companies “Struggling” To Make A Profit Due To Lack Of Hurricanes
Republican Rick Scott spoke to the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches today, but he’s still not talking to editorial boards as voting by mail is already underway in Florida. Perhaps he’s trying to run out the clock on that? It wouldn’t be surprising considering some of the questions he might be asked. Among the gems from his speech were these items that stood out when I read them:
He would freeze state regulation of businesses in general to examine which rules are necessary and which aren’t.
During his 19-minute speech and about 15 minutes of questions and answers, Scott waded into politically controversial territory such as insurance regulation and offshore oil drilling. While current Gov. Charlie Crist has bashed insurers for charging too much, Scott said the state imposes too much regulation on carriers.
“We haven’t had a hurricane since 2005, and our insurance companies are struggling to make a profit,” Scott said. “This is when they should be making a profit, because we will have another hurricane, but because of our regulations, we’ve killed the insurance market.”
Yes, you read that correctly. The poor insurance companies aren’t making enough of a profit due to the lack of a really good catastrophic hurricane in Florida. (And here I’ll bet you were thinking that was a good thing?)
But he wasn’t finished.
After a high school student asked about making Florida greener, Scott said, “We have to continue to look at offshore drilling, when we can do it safely.”
No big surprises there, he’s been a fan of oil drilling all along. But one has to wonder if he’s in favor of relaxing regulations even more when it comes to oil drilling. As if a lack of oversight and regulations hadn’t done enough damage already. Can you imagine even less regulations for oil companies like BP and what that would do in the case of anther spill?
In response to a question about a state program for people with disabilities, Scott said spending more might be a good idea, but only if spending could be cut elsewhere.
“As a society, we have to prioritize how we spend our money,” Scott said. “Government can’t solve every need.”
Doesn’t sound as if people with disabilities are much of a priority to Scott.
Scott also touted his plan to give parents broader options to send their children to virtual schools, religious schools or home schools.
“It will force all of our schools to compete and get better,” Scott said. “We’ve got to have as much choice as possible.”
In other words, privatize the heck out of the school system. It’s not about education, it’s about profits.
And finally, there was “mention” of that little Medicare fraud thing with Scott’s former company, Columbia/HCA which was fined $1.7 billion in that case.
A heckler briefly interrupted Scott’s speech to shout, “He’s a criminal.” Scott said, “Thank you,” and resumed speaking, and the heckler left the room.
Later, in response to a question about the fine, Scott acknowledged that he “made mistakes” but didn’t say he was personally involved in the fraud.
“We should have put more resources into internal and external auditing,” Scott said.
Or perhaps Scott should have heeded the warnings that he was getting into dangerous territory with potential legal problems in the first place.
But here’s my main question, and it’s a big one:
How is it that a guy like Scott is pulling ahead of Alex Sink in some of the polls? How is he even still in the race? He isn’t big on answering questions, especially the ones involving Medicare fraud.
I think he deserves an answer from the voters in November, and that would be: