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Don Gaetz blasts Rick Scott’s hospital profit sharing plan, ‘Washington talk’

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State Sen. Don Gaetz took to Pensacola talk radio to make some interesting comments about Gov. Rick Scott and his plan to have Florida hospitals share proceeds with other, less profitable health care facilities.

“When Governor Scott, who as you know made probably hundreds of millions of dollars buying and selling hospitals, said this, my first thought was, ‘What an extraordinary and generous impulse. Clearly, he’s going to make this retroactive’… but apparently not.”

In the first part of his interview with Rick Outzen on his “Pensacola Speaks” radio show, the Niceville Republican – who Outzen called a leader, statesman, and coalition-builder — then called out Scott for trying to introduce “socialism” into the state’s health care system by “forcibly extracting” revenues from one business and giving it to another.

“That’s government price controls,” he added, “that really brought the Soviet Union into a ‘Going Out of Business’ sale.”

Gaetz also disagreed that the governor began telling departments that the special session, which starts June 1, would bring a “continuation,” or status quo, budget – with no spending increases for programs such as schools, the environment or prisons.

“We don’t have that in Florida,” Gaetz said. “In Florida, we have a balanced budget provision in our constitution. Continuation budgets; that’s Washington talk,”

Gaetz likened a continuation budget to kicking the can down the road and avoiding the tough decisions about funding and tax cuts.

“We’re not that kind of people in Florida,” said Gaetz. “Our constitution is clear and the people of Florida have spoken.”

What voters want, he added, is for the legislature to pass a balanced budget, one that the governor either signs or vetoes.

“But we don’t kick the can down the road with a continuing resolution or a continuing budget like they do in Washington.”

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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