Floridians Deserve the Truth About Rick Scott and Mike Fernandez
Are Rick Scott and his top reelection fundraiser engaged in one of the largest pay-to-play scandals in Florida history? Or is it just coincidence that Mike Fernandez, co-owner of two health care companies that have received state contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars, is also the fundraising chief of Rick Scott's reelection campaign?
Floridians deserve to know the facts. They deserve to be told the truth.
Finance Chairman Fernandez will raise tens of millions of dollars this year for Rick Scott, while benefiting from 13 state Medicaid contracts worth up to a billion dollars. Fernandez has already contributed almost $1.8 million to Rick Scott's re-election campaign, and leads regular fundraising strategy sessions with top campaign aides and donors.
Rick Scott and Mike Fernandez both told the Florida Times-Union that their relationship is nothing to worry about. But the state is refusing to reveal the value of 10 contracts awarded to a Fernandez-owned company.
"Rick Scott needs to come clean about his connections with millionaire health care executive Mike Fernandez. He should turn over every piece of correspondence between his office and Finance Chairman Mike Fernandez and the state Medicaid agency," said Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant.
"With as much as a billion dollars of taxpayers' money on the line, this is no time for Rick Scott to hide behind platitudes," Tant added.
So far, the Scott administration has failed to produce correspondence between his staff, Mike Fernandez, or Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration.
To start the search for the truth, the Florida Democratic Party is filing two public records requests with Governor Rick Scott's office and Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration. AHCA has already failed to provide records to a Florida Times-Union reporter, including how much taxpayer money will be spent on Mike Fernandez's state contracts.
From the Florida Times-Union:
- The Florida Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration claims no pay-to-play was involved in the awarding of 13 state contracts worth up to a billion dollars to Fernandez.
- Fernandez is co-owners of the health care company Better Health, which has won three state contracts — in South Florida, Central Florida, and the Panhandle. According to the Florida Times-Union, the value of these contracts could be as high as $2.7 billion.
- Fernandez also owns Clear Health Alliance, which has won 10 state contracts to provide treatment to patients living with HIV and AIDS. The state has declined to reveal the value of those contracts.