Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott flip-flopped on his position on expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) federal exchange, reported Talking Points Memo.
Scott’s decision will ultimately affect nearly one million low-income Floridians, causing them to lose out on health insurance. Medicaid expansion would have covered these low-income individuals. Expansion would have allowed the ACA to cover “the full cost until 2017 and at least 90 percent thereafter.”
“Our priority is to cut more than $600 million in taxes this session and get K-12 education funding up to record levels while holding the line on college tuition,” said Scott of his decision. “We still have several weeks left for budget negotiations; however, given that the federal government said they would not fund the federal Low Income Pool (LIP) program to the level it is funded today, it would be hard to understand how the state could take on even more federal programs that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) could scale back or walk away from.”
The LIP program pays for uncompensated hospital care. Scott blames the federal government’s denial of LIP funds to the state of Florida for his decision. Scott is an unreliable governor. This is the second time he has changed his mind on expanding Medicaid in Florida.
He opposed it at the beginning of his term, then he embraced Medicaid expansion two years ago. Now, he’s opposing it again. The Democratic Governor’s Association spokesperson, Jared Leopold, accurately describes how many Floridians feel about Scott.
“Rick Scott completed a rare double flip-flop today,” said Leopold. “Scott has shown Floridians that he cannot be trusted to keep his word – and that he will always put his own political ambitions over the needs of the Sunshine State.”
Leopold is correct. Gov. Scott is an untrustworthy governor. He’s a businessman who panders to the desires of the medical industry and private prison firms; 2018 can’t get here soon enough.