The Florida Department of Health has issued an order banning Affordable Care Act outreach. Counselors trained to help educate and sign residents up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act are now prevented from conducting outreach at health departments across the state, the Associate Press reports.
In August, Governor Rick Scott (R) voiced his concerns over “navigators,” or outreach counselors who aid residents in signing up for health insurance. Scott said he was afraid of what the federal government might do with the personal and financial information obtained during the registration process, according to Reuters.
A new Florida law even requires outreach counselors to have federal government training and be fingerprinted, with background checks conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Now the “navigators” will only be allowed to distribute Affordable Care Act information if someone requests it.
When Scott first voiced “concerns” about health care outreach, Florida Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters called his notions misguided.
“Contrary to Gov. Scott’s statements, consumers will never be asked to provide their personal health information to the marketplace, whether through a navigator or not,” she told Reuters. “There is no such database of American’s health information, and multiple independent fact checkers have debunked this claim.”
In 2009, Scott founded “Conservatives for Patient’s Right Action Fund.” The group created advertisements and spent freely to oppose health care reform and President Obama’s then-still-developing health care plan.
Scott’s opposition to health care reform was interesting to many, as Mr. Scott previously created the health care company Columbia/HCA, which was responsible for the largest health care fraud rip-off of the government in US history.
Scott, Columbia/HCA’s CEO was ousted or “resigned” from his position 4 months after the Medicare fraud inquiry went public. Scott still denies having any knowledge that the company he created, and of which he was chief executive officer, committed extensive health care fraud of the US government, which either makes him the worst CEO in history or a complete liar.
Scott was purportedly ousted by his board of directors because he wanted to fight the accusations, and his board wanted to settle. In December 2000, Columbia/HCA was hit with the largest government fraud settlement in US history – $840 million in criminal fines and civil damages and penalties.
Now Gov. Scott, along with Attorney General Pam Bondi (R), has successfully blocked uninsured Florida residents from receiving help by impeding the efforts of outreach counselors under the guise of privacy concerns.