Crist says Obamacare ‘plan is a good one,’ calls Scott ‘tea party governor’by George Bennett | November 22nd, 2013
WEST PALM BEACH — President Barack Obama and his signature health care law may be plummeting in the polls, but Charlie Crist didn’t hesitate to embrace both when meeting with reporters today.
Crist even threw in a plug for the 2009 stimulus bill that contributed to the unraveling of his 2010 Senate bid.
“I’m sorry to see the rollout and how it went and I think everybody agrees with that. There are glitches many times when something that’s really big comes along,” Crist said of the health care law’s bumpy debut.
“But I also know this, that the plan is a good one. I support what the president is trying to do. He’s trying to bring affordable health care to millions of our fellow Floridians.”
Crist, the former Republican governor who’s now seeking his old job as a Democrat, will attend a Palm Beach fundraiser hosted by actor George Hamilton tonight. He met with reporters this afternoon at the train station near downtown, using the venue to criticize Republican Gov. Rick Scott for refusing federal money for high-speed rail in 2011.
Crist, who called Scott “a tea party governor,” also slammed the incumbent for failing to push for an expansion of Medicaid in the state this year after declaring his support for it.
“What I don’t understand is how Gov. Scott said for about 30 seconds that he was for more health care for the poor, for about the 1 million people that aren’t getting it right now. And then, the Medicaid expansion, he didn’t lift a finger to get it done. And as a result of that, those million Floridians that can’t afford coverage, they’re getting sicker or they’re going to die. It is unconscionable to me how you can turn your back on people like that. We need somebody in that mansion that really cares about people again, and I’m going to try to do that.”
Aside from the health care “glitches” Crist mentioned, he was asked about those whose insurance rates have gone up because of Obamacare’s mandates.
“The high cost of health care is in existence today,” Crist said. “The reason you put in a plan is to make it more affordable. That’s why they call it the Affordable Care Act. And that’s exactly what the president’s trying to do, that’s why it passed the Congress and that’s why the Supreme Court has already ruled that it’s constitutional. Now I understand there are those that want to stop and block it. They’re the same people that wanted to stop and block the stimulus plan. And thank God we took it.”
Crist’s embrace of the Democratic stimulus bill when he was a Republican governor in 2009 led to his fall from favor in the GOP. He switched to no party affiliation in 2010 during a failed bid for U.S. Senate. He announced his switch to Democrat last year while attending a White House Christmas party.
Crist said his friendship with Obama could benefit Floridians.
“If we actually had a governor who got along with the president, who liked him and respected him, instead of arguing with him all the time, there’s a lot of good things we could do for Florida,” Crist said.