Florida hospitals and legislators began pushing back Thursday against Gov. Rick Scott's call for cutting $2 billion from Medicaid spending, saying the move will jeopardize health care for thousands of poor, elderly and disabled Floridians. But Scott's budget director, Jerry McDaniel, said the Republican governor, who guided the nation's largest hospital chain during a controversial, almost decade-long tenure, knows what he's talking about. "The governor operated 343 hospitals while he was in business," McDaniel told the Senate Budget Committee. "He was very successful at it. He said his best-paying clients were Medicaid and Medicare."