February 7, 2023

On Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla) argued that Democrats’ legislation on climate, tax and health in the Senate was a “war on Medicare.”

Partial version as follows:

Margaret Brennan: No matter what it doesn’t look like, there’s no way to stop what is expected to be a huge win here for the Democrats. And I know you’re against it, but I want to pressure you about that because Medicare access isn’t expanded well for a state like yours, which has a larger population reliant on the Affordable Care Act than any other state, and Republicans like Disability Reduction. The CBO says this will cut it by $100 billion over the next decade. Aren’t there some good things here for you too?

Scott: So, Margaret, here’s the way I look at it. For now, this bill should be called the “law of war on the elderly.” I mean, this is a war on Medicare. If you look at this. That’s a $280 billion cut in Medicare. So, what’s going to happen is Medicare is going to be cut out and there are going to be older people who don’t get life-saving medicines because they

Brennan: – Lowering the cost of Medicare is different than the benefits, though, you know it.

Scott: Margaret, $280 billion that could have been spent. It was expected to spend. It will not be spent now. And pharmaceutical companies that will do more research won’t be able to spend money on research. There will be lifesaving medicines that older adults will not get. On top of that, I mean they’re going to raise taxes by over $700 billion. And let’s remember that companies don’t end up paying taxes. Shareholders pay taxes, lower income employees pay taxes, and less investment pays taxes. So, $700 billion will hurt the economy. And then, while gas prices are $2 more than they were when Joe Biden took office, there is a selective gas tax. So why – you know, we’re in a recession. Why might the government cost increase? We are increasing taxes.

Brennan: So, the Committee on the Responsible Federal Budget called your claim there, which you just reiterated regarding Medicare spending, completely misleading. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that only about 1% of new drugs will be affected by changes there in drug development. How do you respond to that?

Scott: Margaret, 1%. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. If your grandmother isn’t 1% important, and if there’s an effect — if it’s impacting — on a life-saving drug that we can do right now, we shouldn’t be — we shouldn’t interrupt Medicare like that. I can’t believe it and by the way, we should never raise taxes but especially in a recession. And why raise gas taxes right now when they’re $2 higher than they were when Joe Biden took office. This will continue to push us further into a bigger recession than we are now. Look where we are now. The labor participation rate is low, wages are negligible with inflation, two quarters of negative GDP. I mean – we – this – we pushed Joe Biden and these plans are pushing us into recession. So, I think we have to — we have to stop raising taxes. We make it easier for companies to build their businesses, compete and we’ll get more jobs.

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