Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) pulls a switch.
TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday he supports expanding Medicaid and funneling billions of federal dollars to Florida, a significant policy reversal that could bring health care coverage to 1 million additional Floridians.
“While the federal government is committed to pay 100 percent of the cost, I cannot, in good conscience, deny Floridians the needed access to health care,” Scott said at a hastily called news conference at the Governor’s Mansion.
Scott, a former hospital executive, spoke with unusual directness about helping the “poorest and weakest” Floridians — a stunning about-face for a small-government Republican who was one of the loudest voices in an aggressive, and ultimately unsuccessful, legal strategy to kill a law he derided as “Obamacare.”
Gee, I wonder why he did that (cough 2014 cough).
Not surprisingly, the tea cups are rattled.
“This is just another example of Republicans lying to Floridians,” said Everett Wilkinson of Palm Beach Gardens, calling Scott “the Benedict Arnold to the patriot and tea party movement in Florida.”
But when it comes down to it, Gov. Scott, who made a huge fortune in the healthcare industry — and nearly ended up in the joint — before he became governor, knows that a big chunk of those federal dollars will end up in the hands of private hospitals. When it comes to making a choice between sticking to the principles he’s adopted to win an election and making a buck, he’ll go for the buck, especially when he thinks he can turn it into a win at the voting booth, too.
PS: Mother Jones has a look at what has happened to Florida since Rick Scott came to Tallahassee.