The welfare drug-testing law was an expensive one that Scott wanted taxpayers to pick up the tab for. As The New York Times notes, since the majority of drug tests came back negative, the state had to reimburse applicants the $30 fee. That cost Florida taxpayers $118,140, which is $45,780 more than the benefits that would have been paid without the drug testing.
However, there may be another reason why Gov. Scott appears determined to pursue policies that funnel taxpayer money through the health care industry. Solantic, the chain of health care clinics performing much of Florida’s drug testing, was co-founded by Rick Scott.
In 2011, Scott transferred his shares in Solantic to his wife, so while not directly linked to the company, the Scott household still stands to personally benefit financially from the drug-testing law, raising serious questions of a conflict of interest.
Rick Scott was also the CEO of Hospital Corporation of America, now called Columbia/HCA, during the 1990s, when the FBI found extensive fraudulent billing of Medicare and Medicaid. According to the Sun Sentinel, “Four mid-level executives of the company were criminally charged and tried in Tampa. Two were convicted, but both won on appeal. Scott was never charged and left Columbia/HCA with $10 million in severance and stock valued at $300 million.”
The HCA Medicare fraud case was the largest in the country, which resulted in $1.7 billion in fines.
It’s interesting how the Florida governor’s distrust of poor welfare recipients happens to dovetail with his personal financial interests.
ALEX WITT 01/04/14 Fallujah taken over by Al Qaeda militants
Alex Witt talks to The New York Times’ John Burns about Al Qaeda militants seizing Fallujah and the city’s critical history in the Iraq War.
Longtime Baghdad bureau chief and correspondent for the New York Times John Burns, respected by everyone this side of the wacko contingent, tells us in this report: “…I’m afraid now that we are spectators on the edge of a volcano which we cannot quell.” Burns thinks Iraqi violence will probably morph into a full-scale civil war.
If President Obama had gone to Benghazi and killed our diplomats himself, it would not compare to one tenth of one percent of the uncountable lives lost needlessly resulting from the U.S. and others being misled into war in Iraq. Was it half a million Iraqi civilians? One million? The march of death continues to this day. George W. Bush had no clue what a Shiite or a Sunni was when he sent our obedient troops into Iraq. The deficit hawks would have done well to prevent such violent boondoggle which will surely have a price tag on it of more than three trillion dollars, once all the injured soldiers live out the remaining decades of their natural lives. They seem happy enough to cut tiny budget items that devastate the poor instead. So blinded by their hatred of President Obama, raising a voice to note George W. Bush’s ongoing cavalcade of needless death and destruction would never occur to a single one of them, and none would ever whimper a modest mea culpa for their complicity.