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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Just after making his 2014 re-election campaign official, Florida governor Rick Scott (R) appears to be backtracking on Medicaid expansion, avoiding questions concerning his past support on the expansion of the program in his state.

During an appearance on Wednesday, reporters asked the governor if Florida would pursue federal funds available through the Affordable Care Act to expand the state’s Medicaid program.

Scott ignored the question and instead focused on criticizing the health care reform law, which he says will cause “300,000 people in our state” to lose their insurance before the new year.

The comments echoed those made just a day before, when Scott dodged another question about expanding Medicaid, saying that “the biggest issue we’re dealing with right now” is the health care cancelations he says people in his state are “concerned about.”

“On top of the fact you see the plans that have been proposed, they have high deductibles, so I’m concerned about cost, quality, and access to health care, that’s our biggest problem right now,” Scott said.

The comments hint that Scott is now retracting his support for Medicaid expansion – a stance he surprisingly took earlier this year when he said that he would accept Obamacare funding to expand the program for low-income Americans in his state.

Even though $51 billion in federal funds are available for Florida, the state’s GOP-controlled legislature refused to pass a budget that included funding for Medicaid expansion.

At the time, Scott declared that “while the federal government is committed to paying 100 percent of the costs, I cannot, in good conscience, deny Floridians who need access to healthcare.”

Scott’s most recent change of heart is not too surprising now that his re-election bid is official, but it does offer his Democratic challenger — and former Florida Republican governor — Charlie Crist a point of attack.

Considering that Florida has the second-highest uninsured rates in the nation, Medicaid is especially important to constituents, specifically the approximately 850,000 Floridians who do not qualify for subsidized insurance under the federal law, but also do not qualify for Medicaid.

Without an extension of the program, those 850,000 low-income Floridians will continue to go uninsured.

The entire state also stands to lose should Scott decide to reject federal funds to expand Medicaid; a report released by the Commonwealth Fund finds that not extending the program — which “generates a net loss of federal funds” — will cost Florida taxpayers over $5 billion by 2022.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Correction: According to the Commonwealth Fund, rejecting Medicaid expansion will cost Florida over $5 billion by 2022, not $9.2 billion as this post originally stated.

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • Bill Thompson

    Once again the verbiage is incorrect. What has happened is their insurance has been upgraded. They did not lose their insurance their existing substandard policy was canceled and replaced for another. Insurance companies have made it look like they are the only choice and have boxed many ill-informed people into some bad deals this is true. The insurance companies did not make it clear in the information that was sent along with their cancellations that the consumer did have other options in the federal exchange. And that the consumer may qualify for subsidies. Once again we are seeing a Republican Gov. more concerned about his own hide then the constituents of his state. Literally leaving tens of thousands of people without health insurance and leaving hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds sitting on the table.

    • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

      But you cannot mean that a former health insurance company executive would ever mislead people about policies and medical care. That would be unethical!

    • hankfromthebank

      you are the manchurian poster who repeats the Pravda media talking points that Obama and you liberals know more about what people need than the people themselves. Your arrogance will be dented on election day….

      • Bill Thompson

        As far as election day goes you may be right, but this is nothing new. The right has been voting against their self interest for decades. The evidence is the poverty that is so evident in red states. Unless you’re one of the people that are in the Goldman or outher big bank corporate offices making mega bucks you are most likely voting against your own best interest. The right is only interested in accelerating the race to the bottom. In 2014 it will be a with moderate Republicans trying to separate themselves from the tea party. In 2016 your only chance is the ongoing voter purge in red states. Good luck.

  • Jack Hughes

    Rick Scott will never be able to purge enough citizens from the list of legal voters to enable his re-election.

  • hankfromthebank

    Yeah…let Crist run on the most unpopular law to be passed in my lifetime…a law that has ruined healthcare for millions. That will finish that weasel for good.

    • Independent1

      Unpopular only in the clueless minds of the totally ill-informed. Who have been brainwashed by lies and distortions from a totally unethical group of fake politicians that have the gall to call themselves Republicans.

      • hankfromthebank

        Internet discourse has taken a huge downward turn since computers were given to patients in mental hospitals. Their sense of reality is almost nil. Let’s just pray that left wing radicals are kept where they are so they don’t shoot any more kids like in Colorado.

        • Independent1

          Left wing radicals?? Is that why BY FAR more shootings occur in RED STATEs?? 21 of the 25 states with the most shootings and homicide deaths committed by guns are RED STATES!! The latest shooting, and many of them, are committed by young people who probably have not made any political affiliation but yet the clueless try to impart on them some kind of political slur!! Another thing typical of those who have the audacity to think they are true Republicans – when in fact they’re only followers of the party of Satan.

          • hankfromthebank

            you are clueless…left wing radical socialists are shooting kids while promoting guns be taken away from law abiding citizens so we can’t defend ourselves from their ain’t gonna work..

          • Independent1

            Yeah right!! Dream on!!

  • George Allegro

    History shows that the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of success will be available to many only in a culture that advances fairly rapidly.

    • hankfromthebank

      Karl Marx and Saul Alinsky must be your source..more power to the government means less freedom. for which many of us died for..I did not kill for this country to protect welfare payments and food stamps./

      • Independent1

        Really!! How sad that your so self-centered and selfish!!

  • Montesquieu

    Given civilization’s incalculable amount of knowledge, the amount that a single mind can make use of is but a tiny fraction of the total.