In politics, optics matter. Gov. Rick Scott, who will spend the next few months fending off familiar criticism of the health care fraud at his former hospital company, had a chance to put more money into fighting health care fraud in Florida.
But to the disappointment of a key Republican lawmaker, he said no. One of Scott’s little-noticed line item vetoes in the new $77 billion budget would have set aside more money to investigate fraud in the Medicaid program. Scott gave no reason for the veto at the time he signed the budget.
The push for the money came from Scott’s fellow Republicans in the Senate Criminal & Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, chaired by Sen. Rob Bradley, a Republican from Fleming Island.
“It’s disappointing,” Bradley said. “No area of our budget is growing at a faster rate than Medicaid and health care, and anything we can do to contain costs in health care is important. We have to fight fraud.” He said he was otherwise pleased with Scott’s “light touch” with vetoes in the criminal justice budget.