I have been watching news interview programs for over 40 years. I have seen lively exchanges, witty responses, and wily dodges from news-makers. But never have I witnessed such a poor performance, sluggish regard for questions, or a total lack of preparation for the topic at hand than what took place today with Senator Rick Scott on CBS.
This week Donald Trump stepped into a policy and political mess when he stated Republicans were going to change health care in the nation and then named Scott as one of the point people on Capitol Hill to “come up with something really spectacular”.
It was clear when Trump spoke he was not aware Scott has some troubles in his past with health care business dealings. Had Trump done his homework he would have known Scott was not the best match for a public face concerning a new scheme from the GOP on this topic. Scott was the CEO of the hospital company Columbia/HCA in the 1990s, and resigned four months after a federal inquiry into the company was made public. The company was later fined $1.7 billion in 2000 and 2007 for what was then the largest case of Medicare fraud in history. OUCH!
It comes as no surprise there is no alternative GOP health care plan. Their plan is to repeal the ACA and leave folks with nothing. When asked this morning on Face The Nation about his role as point man Scott stated it was the White House that would be weighing in on a plan. With that it proved the unscripted words from Trump this past week has again placed their party where the leaders of the GOP wish not to land.
Margaret Brennan asked several times how the ACA could be repealed without something concrete to go in its place and Scott looked like a semi was barreling at him going 70 mph. He offered pauses and then repeated a line about lowering costs for the third time–or was it the fourth? Brennan nailed him by asking how important lower costs are if a person does not even have a health care plan?
If Republicans had a plan, they would have introduced it at some point in the last 10 years. They have nothing to offer for policy and now have proved they do not even have a competent point person to spin lines for a news interview.