DSCC statement on Scott’s record on drug abuse prevention

In response to Governor Scott’s press event today on the opioid epidemic, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Spokesman David Bergstein released the following statement:

“After years of refusing to address the opioid epidemic and declare a state of emergency to handle the crisis, Floridians would rather Governor Scott spare them the photo op. The timing is particularly embarrassing given that his own toxic healthcare plan – which would spike costs and strip away coverage for drug abuse treatment programs all to give himself a big tax break – moves through Congress. Today is just another unfortunate reminder that Scott is only ever looking out for himself — while Florida’s families are paying the price.”

See for yourself:  

  • WYSO: GOP-Backed Health Bill Could Hurt Opioid Treatment, Critics Warn“It would allow states to deny coverage to people with pre-existing health conditions, and allow states to eliminate so-called essential health benefits for services such as prescription drugs, maternity care and mental-health treatment.” [WYSO, 5/4/17]
  • Time: 50 Health Issues That Count as a Pre-existing ConditionThe Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which narrowly passed a vote in the House today, rolls back protections for people with pre-existing conditions, which could increase health care costs for an estimated 130 million Americans….Alcohol or drug abuse with recent treatment.” [Time, 5/4/17]
  • Capitol News Service: Under Scott Florida Cut Mental Health And Addiction Services By Over $11 Million in 2017. [WCTV, 7/11/17]
  • 2013: Scott Refused To Spend Any Additional Funds On Substance Abuse Prevention. “To balance his budget, Scott also would cut Medicaid services and payments to hospitals, squeeze $9 million in savings from county health clinics, spend no more money for mental health or substance abuse prevention, eliminate 3,600 more state jobs and freeze state workers’ salaries for the seventh straight year.” [Miami Herald, 1/31/13]
  • Tampa Bay Times HEADLINE: Rick Scott moves to eliminate Florida’s Office of Drug Control. [Tampa Bay Times, 12/22/10]
    • Pensacola News Journal: Scott “Took Major Step Backward In Effort To Fight Substance Abuse” By Closing Office Of Drug Control. “Gov.-elect Rick Scott took a major step backward in the effort to fight substance abuse in Florida by closing the Office of Drug Control. His ill-advised decision sends a message that drug abuse is no longer a problem or a priority in this state. But nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to drugs and alcohol, and the massive costs and problems associated with abusing them. The harsh reality is that substance abuse exacts a costly toll in terms of prosecution and imprisonment. The costs of drug and alcohol abuse to the state have risen to a staggering $46 billion. There also are many broken homes and ruined lives.” [Editorial, Pensacola News Journal, 12/28/10]
  • 2011: Scott Tried To Shut Down Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. “Gov. Rick Scott kept up his opposition to a proposed prescription drug-tracking database Tuesday, adding a new, but unsubstantiated, claim: the not-yet-running program is misspending money… Scott stood firm Tuesday, telling reporters: ‘I don’t support the database. I think it’s an invasion of privacy.’” [News-Press, 2/23/11]
  • Sun Sentinel: Schultz: Unlike Zika, people are dying. So where’s the governor? “Like bored pelicans at a marina stirring as a boat approaches, Gov. Rick Scott and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi are pretending to care about the state’s drug overdose crisis…Why, then, has Scott not declared a public health emergency regarding the opioid epidemic? Why is he ‘still reviewing it?’ We saw just a year ago that Scott can react quickly to a crisis that interests him.” [Sun Sentinel Column, 4/4/17]
  • Kaiser Family Foundation: Scott’s Healthcare Plan Would Jeopardize Coverage For Substance Abuse Treatment. [Kaiser Family Foundation, 6/14/17]


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