Rep. Matt Gaetz grew up rich thanks to his prominent father’s company making boatloads of money from Medicare and Medicaid. But Gaetz wants to crash the U.S. economy unless others suffer from cuts to those “entitlements.”
A 2019 Mother Jones article describes how Gaetz was handed his privileges on a silver plate, via his father, Don Gaetz, a wealthy, prominent politician:
[I]f anyone is responsible for Gaetz’s rise to political fame, it’s his dad, whose deep pockets and even deeper connections in Florida politics are one reason Matt is known in his district as Baby Gaetz. “Matt would be an assistant manager at Walmart if it weren’t for his father,” says Steven Specht, a Democrat who ran against Gaetz for Congress in 2016.
How did Daddy Don Gaetz make all that money and land Matt in the lap of luxury? Why, thanks to the same government programs Gaetz wants to cut for others less fortunate. Oh, and it looks like there may have been some fraud involved:
Matt Gaetz has been a vocal supporter of the tea party’s agenda, crusading against the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion in a state with 2.6 million uninsured residents. But Gaetz wouldn’t be where he is today without government health care programs. In the late 1970s, his father co-founded a nonprofit hospice company that successfully lobbied Congress to allow Medicare and Medicaid to cover its services. Once the public money started flowing, the nonprofit became a for-profit corporation, Vitas, that grew into the country’s largest hospice care provider.
In 2004, Don Gaetz and his partners cashed in, selling the hospice company to the parent company of the plumbing behemoth Roto-Rooter for $400 million. When he ran for state Senate two years later, Don had a net worth of $25 million. In 2013, the Justice Department sued Vitas, alleging that between 2002 and 2013, the company had defrauded Medicare by filing false claims for services never provided or for patients who weren’t terminally ill. The company settled the case in 2017 for more than $75 million, at the time the largest settlement ever recovered from a hospice company. (Don wasn’t named in the case and has denied any wrongdoing.)
The article also notes how Gaetz’s wealth and privilege let him skate away from a DUI charge. And God only knows what Gaetz has (so far) successfully hidden in his private life. Mother Jones noted that while Gaetz avoided being interviewed for its profile, he called the author to beg him not to identify women he’s dated. Since then, there have been accusations of sex trafficking and maybe more crimes.
But, apparently, Gaetz wants to cut health care for the working poor while he enjoys the benefits handed to him by birth. And, he had the nerve to call Medicare and Social Security - which people work for and contribute to all their lives - “entitlements.”
On Thursday, Gaetz appeared on the Hannity show to debate Geraldo Rivera about the Republican agenda in the House. Near the end of the discussion, host Sean Hannity another fat cat elite, pushed Gaetz to promise to cut social safety nets for those less fortunate and wreck the country’s economy in revenge if not.
HANNITY: Will Republicans come together on the debt ceiling and will they stand strong in 2022 [sic]? Biden is betting against that. That’s why he says no negotiation.
And here’s Gaetz, hoping to use TV talking points and soundbites to make life harder for the elderly and poor.
GAETZ: Well, if we pick the right fight. I was discouraged to see my colleague Don Bacon announce on Meet The Press that he believed no cuts in entitlements could be acceptable to his wing of the Republican Party.
I actually think we should have work requirements. If we imposed work requirements on SNAP and on Medicaid expansion for able-bodied adults, we would have the ability to save $1 trillion.
Rivera broke in: “You’re gonna make a mother with three children at home, make her work?” he asked.
“Yeah,” Gaetz said, with a wolfish smile. “And you know, you can meet work requirements in a lot of these states by volunteering at non-profits, by helping out at a local church, by job training – “
“How about Social Security?” Rivera asked.
“Well, let’s start with Medicaid,” Gaetz said.
Gaetz should really start with a work requirement for lazy Congressmen, like himself. Gaetz is notoriously lazy. Mother Jones pointed out that he seems more interested in his Fox News appearances than in crafting any legislation. A former employer told Politico he fired a much-younger Gaetz because he refused to show up for his $5,000-a-month job, saying he shouldn’t have to because it was his time to sow his wild oats.
And The Bulwark noted that Gaetz has only one phone number for all three of his offices on his official website and that number has an area code for the Florida panhandle. Author Jim Swift wrote that nobody answers when you call that number or the Washington number he eventually found. Apparently, Gaetz is not interested in hearing from constituents, either. But I’ll bet he quickly returns calls from any Fox producer.
Even worse, Gaetz doesn’t seem to know or care that most people receiving Medicaid already work. In 2021, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that, as of 2018, 59% of women and 69% of men enrolled in Medicaid were working. A majority of the women who did not work were taking care of children and other family members, while the majority of non-working men didn’t work because of illness or disability. Many were employed in service jobs with limited benefits.
Instead of working to raise wages so that people could get off Medicaid, pay taxes and help pay down the debt, Silver Spoon Gaetz wants to make their lives harder and sicker. In fact, Silver Spoon Gaetz seems to have a thing about making life harder for the poor. In 2013, Slate reported that his Twitter insults are often directed to "random poor people, as in this gem from October: 'Yesterday I saw a lady at Publix use her ’Access’ welfare card. Her back was covered in tattoos. RT if u support entitlement reform.'”
You can watch this disgrace to Congress below, from the January 26, 2023 Hannity. Even better, leave a voice mail at 850-479-1183 or send him an email. We know somebody’s in his office. Whether they’re working or not is another question.
I can hear the people cry out for such a public comeuppance now, “Watergaetz! Watergaetz!”…