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And hello again from Fox News in Washington from the changing of welfare reform work requirements to implementing the new health care law there is concern this week.
In some key states where the Tony -- presidential election could be determined.
Joining us now our governor from two of those states Rick Scott of Florida who comes to us from San Francisco.
And Terry Branstad of Iowa who's attending the National Governors Association meeting in Virginia welcome -- you both gentlemen let me start with this -- this question it.
Stirred so much interest at the end of the week which is a noose a set of new.
-- possible waivers.
-- the federal government of work requirements under welfare reform.
This would appear on the service at least to be simply a case of the states getting some more flexibility in how they administer the work requirements for.
For receiving welfare benefits let me start -- you governor Branstad -- -- you -- -- These -- some people are saying that it's gonna go up there.
Got the law.
Well unfortunately I think this is a huge step in the wrong direction.
-- was governor along with Tommy Thompson from Wisconsin John Engler from Michigan when we worked with.
The administration back when Bill Clinton was president to get the welfare reform passed to move it from an entitlement program to a program that focused on.
Job training and work and we help move.
Millions of people off the welfare rolls in new permanent employment.
We reduce the cost of welfare and Medicaid as a result of it it was very successful.
And now we see this administration.
Trying to got it I think it's illegal because it's in the law I don't think they have a right to -- it I know Tommy Thompson is saying he's thinking about suing them over -- I think it's absolutely wrong and a move in the wrong direction the focus needs to be on helping people to move from welfare to work.
Not making people permanently dependent on the government welfare program we know that didn't work back in the seventies and eighties and finally we changed today in the ninety's this program has worked it's absolutely on terrible stick a step in the wrong direction.
To be arguing that the federal bureaucrats in Washington with the rules they've laid out for this no better.
Then the governors in the states across the country and -- subordinates about how to best implement the law.
Well actually the governors are the ones that wrote the law in the first place.
We're the ones I mentioned Tommy Thompson John -- you can talk to those governors that help pass this law and we sought work effectively in our states.
The welfare rolls went down substantially.
We helped a lot of people move to a higher standard of living in more opportunity.
In this -- said.
This goes back to that kind of entitlement mentality.
And that's the -- kind of mistake because -- -- want.
The -- eliminated the work requirement or the requirement that there be activity under way.
It leads -- workers simply allowing the states to have more flexibility in how to how to implement data on -- Well what I'd like to see it's more flexibility on the Medicaid program.
I'm -- they health and human services committee for the national governors we'd like more flexibility instead of these.
Maintenance of effort requirements of the federal government has imposed on us and Medicaid governor -- really -- to give us more flexibility do -- under Medicaid.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- On on the work requirements for welfare.
Well here and gonna Branson's right in the first off it be great if they give us more flexibility on Medicaid is -- that's his skill in our state budgets.
But with this mean -- responsibilities a big is very important.
In our state unemployment the number of people unemployment last eighteen months is gone from.
Five or 6800321.
-- where 1000 part of it is personal responsibility.
People need to be going out looking for a job.
If we we don't want people to stay on on welfare we want them to get back to work and that's what governors want we will -- states all busy but we do our jobs.
But governor -- -- -- a position with the new flexibility granted to you by the federal government to set the welfare to work requirements.
Pretty much however you want it done.
Sure we will look at this but they -- to keep the responsibility in our states in -- I just wish they do this for everything do this for Medicaid.
Medicaid are -- scored -- half times our our general revenues and give us more flexibility on Medicaid give us a block grant that's what they ought to be doing.
But with this we believe in personal responsibility we're gonna continue to have personal responsibility in our state we want people to go look for job and get back to work.
I assume governor you'll do the same thing Iowa keep requirements similar to what you've got correct.
Absolutely I've got chuck Palmer running the department of health of human services for us again and he helped me he.
Ran it back in the ninety's when we were able to dramatically reduce the welfare rolls and keep Medicaid under control.
Medicaid is growing dramatically in every state let's let's not tell talk program that we can't continue to -- Let's talk a little bit about Medicaid the Supreme Court -- -- that the federal government cannot require you to take on additional Medicaid patients.
-- -- -- -- -- It and order do to get the new money that would be available for that you now have the flexibility saying noted that.
What are you gonna do governor.
Well first of all I think of this the federal government has -- sixteen trillion dollar national debt.
Forty cents of every dollar they're spending your hard money and what -- they want to do it add another.
Fifteen or seventeen.
Million people to the Medicaid rolls it's unaffordable unsustainable at either the federal or state level.
And if we buy into it then we have this maintenance effort requirement.
And when the federal government can afford to do it that burden gets dumped on them for on the taxpayers of ours stays away unit did what we're doing it.
Well I've already embarked on a goal to make Iowa they healthiest state in the nation.
We're working in a public private partnership.
With with the private sector business I was like well mark our largest health insurance provider and with -- be our largest supermarket chain.
-- -- ways that we can help people to do health risk assessments identify how they can reduce their risk factors.
And and so our goal is to partner with the communities partner with private sector to help reduce the health care costs.
Not buy into a government program it's unaffordable and on sustained.
-- you're not gonna except the you're not gonna expand -- Medicaid program the way the Health Care Reform law.
And therefore you're not gonna get the extra federal money -- -- for -- goes with correct.
Well our concern is a -- government certainly can afford it.
And we don't think the -- library will Iowa can do it.
And I think if you look at it realistically and you look at what they ought to be doing and quit digging a -- a deeper hole we've got to reform these hole.
Entitlement programs they health and human services committee yesterday we talked about things it can be done to.
Managed the Medicaid better instead of expanding -- -- that's what I wanna do I don't want to embark on something that's on affordable.
All right governor Scott where you gonna do in Florida about this when when we got the -- got the same concern the federal government can afford this we can't afford it.
I -- make any sense to do this expansion with the ought to be doing.
Is what they ought to be -- is pretty more choice pretty more competition.
Give individuals same tax breaks as employers say donor and policy reward people for taking care yourself.
Those are things and help people get back to work.
So they can afford their own health care this is this is just another government program where this program will run out of money and they'll put it on the states again we can't reported in Florida.
Medicaid in our state is -- three and a half times our general revenue.
At and it's a big program it's over twenty billion dollar program we can't afford it.
And we now what we're doing our state -- Medicaid is we're going to a statewide.
Managed care program.
But even with that we're -- on the federal government for waiver so.
You know and give us the flexibility to fix our Medicaid program but don't force us into a program that the program that we know can even afford.
Governor you do.
And knowledgeable about this is a former hospital executive.
Hospitals are saying now.
Which are required in most states by law -- -- accept whatever patients.
Arrive whether they have insurance or not.
That if you don't have Medicaid expansion.
In the uninsured people are gonna continue to turn up in large numbers.
-- hospital emergency rooms expecting and by -- required to get treatment.
That money's gonna come out of the come out of the the people who do have insurance -- -- -- the hospitals.
So if you don't expand Medicaid what do you do about that problem.
Whether way to fix that is what we've already proposed we're waiting for a for a waiver from the federal government is in Medicaid expansion across the state.
Where the Medicaid population.
Will be taking care by managed care organizations which will help make sure they get to a primary care doctor.
Or get to a special -- and so they don't end up in -- room that's a way to fix it.
Don't don't take money from the federal government that we know long term they're -- available give to us.
All right let me turn -- one other question analysts there reviewed and -- got.
I was looking at to have the latest Florida poll on the presidential race shows.
-- -- pretty sort of pretty good -- 800 likely voters and it shows.
A very slight well within the -- -- lead for President Obama.
One wonders about this.
This is state -- the president.
Carried -- only a small margin against John McCain for years ago it's a state without unemployment rate eight point 6%.
That's four tenths of -- and his point of above the national average.
It's a state where you have a lot of elderly people who don't presumably you know that when age group that tends to favor the Republican in this race.
Why is it that President Obama is doing so well in Florida.
Well as that as you -- sedar unemployment rates come down dramatically -- we've had the biggest drop the last eighteen months of any -- the wind.
But this race is going to be just like my race in 2010 it's going to be a 100% based on jock who's got the right jobs plan.
I think present -- -- get hurt -- economy continues to get better.
I think -- governor Romney if he has a right jobs plan he gets his message out he'll be the winner here it's going to be about jobs who's got the right plan for jobs.
Governor Branstad instead allow us suffered less than many states in the in the economic meltdown.
I'm -- rate I guess got as high six point 3% now down to five point 1% as well.
Below the national average.
President Obama and current polling averages out and I'll that we can perhaps take a look at one one of those polls yes here we go.
Is enjoying what a two and a half percentage point lead.
That's a real clear politics average of -- of a number of polls.
It strikes me that the state looks like a tough state for governor Romney would you agree.
Well Obama carried it by ten points last time.
But he -- campaign is somebody's gonna unite people and he's been the most divisive president so there's a lot of independents that voted for him last time.
That really feel betrayed they feel that he has -- he spends all his time attacking other people contrast that with Ronald Reagan.
When Ronald Reagan ran for reelection 1984.
His fame was good morning in America he talked about all the things he's doing.
-- -- Revitalize the American economy and revitalize the American dream reducing taxes and regulations.
That's what I'm doing as governor that's what Republican governors are doing all over the country.
Contrast that with -- Obama and is Illinois friends he's from Chicago and the Democrats control Illinois what they've done they've got the highest -- of any state in the country -- -- per capita but you know most -- But just they don't your stance doing better doesn't that help the president.
And it helps Republicans because they can see where the Republican governor we've turned it around so has.
So as Wisconsin so as Michigan so as Indiana but Illinois hasn't.
And Illinois is following the Obama role of raising taxes.
On corporations and individuals.
And driving in -- attacking the very people that you need to invest -- great jobs -- in Iowa we're doing the opposite let me while reducing taxes and right.
-- wish you both very quickly one question that is the Obama campaign is managed some pretty intense attacks.
On governor Romney on his record at Bain Capital and on questions of whether he was still there when outsourcing was.
Was allegedly being gone and so forth.
Does it appear to you now based on the polling we're seeing with -- president ahead even in states like Florida and certainly in your state.
But those attacks are having some effect governor Scott.
I think that I think I think is gonna come down -- governor -- to do is is keep talking about the plan he's got to get our economy back to work.
When you go to the polls and you and you did and I decide in November it's going to be whose gonna help me get my job back he's gonna tell me keep my job.
They're not to worry about him attack on paying -- worry about who's got the right jobs plan all right governor Branstad your thoughts on.
Well -- pretty pathetic when the -- the United States has -- a running on his record as Ronald Reagan did.
With good morning in America is spending his time attacking other people attacking Romney attacking the entrepreneurs in the businesses that we need to have.
But the guts to.
Invested great jobs and grow our economy.
That's what Republican governors are doing that's why our states are doing better than states like California and Illinois where the Democrats.
Are -- to raise taxes and regulations.
That's the wrong direction we need a new leader we need a new direction I feel in the end of the day when the American people look at the choice.
What his experience and background in the private sector and having rescued the Olympics is a better choice that our present incumbent who's.
That's the blame game and that's the wrong thing to do for the president United States all right governor Branstad governor Scott thanks to both you for your time.
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