June 5, 2023

On CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) argued that Democrats’ so-called climate, tax and health legislation in the Senate is a “war on Medicare.”

Some transcripts are as follows:

Margaret Brennan: No matter what it looks like, there’s any way to stop the big Democrats’ victory here. I know you’re against it, but I want to press you on this because expanding access to health insurance doesn’t do you any good for a state like yours whose residents depend on the Affordable Care Act more than any other state , Republicans like to reduce the deficit. The CBO said that would be a $100 billion reduction over the next decade. Isn’t there something good for you here too?

Scott: So, Margaret, that’s how I see it. Now, this bill should actually be called the Seniors War Act. I mean, it’s a war on Medicare. If you look at this. That’s $280 billion in Medicare cuts. So, what’s going to happen is that health insurance is going to be cut, there’s going to be older people who don’t get life-saving medicines because —

BRENNAN: — Although lowering health insurance costs is not the same as benefits, you — you know.

Scott: Margaret, it could have cost $280 billion. Expect to spend. It won’t be spent now. Pharmaceutical companies that will do more research won’t be able to spend their money on research. There will be life-saving medicines that the elderly cannot get. On top of that, I mean, they’re going to add more than $700 billion in taxes. Let’s remember that companies don’t pay taxes in the end. Shareholders pay tax, employees pay less tax income, and investments pay less tax. So that $700 billion actually hurts the economy. Then there was an excise tax on gasoline, although the price of gasoline was $2 higher than it was when Joe Biden was in office. So why would you — you know, we’re in a recession. Why increase the cost to the government? We are increasing taxes.

Brennan: So, the Responsible Federal Budget Committee is making your claim here, and you just reiterated that claim on Medicare spending, which is totally misleading. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that only about 1 percent of new drugs will be affected by changes in drug development. So how do you respond?

Scott: Margaret, 1%. Wait a moment. Wait a moment. If your grandmother isn’t 1% important, if it affects the life-saving medicines we can do now, we shouldn’t — we shouldn’t cut Medicare like this. I don’t believe, by the way, that we shouldn’t raise taxes, especially in a recession. Why are we raising the gas tax now because it’s $2 higher than when Joe Biden was in office. This will continue to push us into a recession bigger than ours. Look where we are now. Low labor force participation, wages unrelated to inflation, and two-quarters of negative GDP. I mean — we — this is — Joe Biden pushed us and these plans are pushing us into a recession. So, I think we have to — we have to stop raising taxes. We have to make it easier for businesses to build their businesses, compete and we get more jobs.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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