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A health care fraud question gets Rick Scott angry

A clearly frustrated and angry Rick Scott lashed out a Republican activist who called him an "unindicted co-conspirator" and asked him to explain the $1.7 billion health care fraud at his former hospital chain during a Q&A session at a GOP breakfast in Tampa.

It's a question Scott. the GOP front-runner for governor, gets often on the campaign trail. But this woman set him off. (And if this is a precursor to the reception he gets at the party's quarterly meeting, it's going to be a rough weekend.)

(Hear the audio and read a transcript below.)

Audio of Rick Scott

WOMAN: “In one of your opening comments you said that you wanted to fix Medicaid/Medicare on the state level. Is that kinda ironic when we have the whole Columbia/HCA health care situation that you really haven’t explained quite well? My understanding was that you were an unindicted co-conspirator and that that 1.7 billion payback that your company had to do to the government?

“Could you explain how you want to fix it when you were a part of the problem?"

SCOTT: "Sure. Well first of all I was never even questioned, and I was never charged, so…”

WOMAN: [Interrupting] “That’s what an unindicted co-conspirator is.”

SCOTT: [Interrupting] “I’ll tell you what, let me talk first, ok? You told me your position, ok? I was never part of any investigation against me. Alright? So when Bill McCollum goes out and says that stuff, its outrageous. It’s completely untrue. Alright?

“I built the company. From scratch. That had the best outcomes, the best patient satisfaction, and the best prices. Health care inflation went from 18% to less than 1%. Now, you don’t go do that and do — and violate Medicate. It’s not consistent.”

WOMAN: [Interrupting] “Yes it is, actually.”

SCOTT: [Interrupting] “I'll tell you what. If you want to have a debate, we’ll have a debate. If you have a question, I’ll answer your question.

“So, what I told people from day one— people made mistakes at that company. When you’re the CEO you take responsibility. What I could have done better is more internal and external auditors. But that’s the difference. In business,  you learn from mistakes. In government, they never do.

“So, there’s a website called RickScottForFlorida.com. Read it. And you will never say what you just said again.”

WOMAN: “I actually…”

SCOTT: [Interrupting] “Now wait a second. I answered your question. We’re going to go around the room.” 

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