April 6, 2015

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Florida, Latest News

DGA Statement on Gov. Rick Scott’s Double Flip Flop

 

Washington, D.C. – Rick Scott opposed Medicaid expansion in 2010, before he supported it during the 2014 reelection campaign. Today, Rick Scott announced that he’s reversed his position again. This decision will mean that 800,000 Floridians will be denied access to affordable healthcare. Today, Jared Leopold, communications director of the Democratic Governors Association, released the following statement after Gov. Rick Scott’s decision: 

“Rick Scott completed a rare double flip-flop today,” said DGA Communications Director Jared Leopold. “He was against Medicaid expansion before he was for it, and now he’s against it again. Governor 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.”

Rick Scott’s History of Medicaid Flip Flopping:

Miami Herald Headline: Florida Gov. Rick Scott supports Medicaid expansion. According to the Miami Herald, “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.’ Throughout his 2010 campaign for governor, as Scott sought support from tea party members, he called the law a ‘job-killer’ that would hurt Florida. On Wednesday, he called the proposed Medicaid expansion, at least for an initial period, “common sense.’” [Miami Herald, 2/21/13]

 

New York Times Headline: In Reversal, Florida to Take Health Law’s Medicaid Expansion. According to the New York Times, “Gov. Rick Scott of Florida reversed himself on Wednesday and announced that he would expand his state’s Medicaid program to cover the poor, becoming the latest — and, perhaps, most prominent — Republican critic of President Obama’s health care law to decide to put it into effect. It was an about-face for Mr. Scott, a former businessman who entered politics as a critic of Mr. Obama’s health care proposals. Florida was one of the states that sued to try to block the law. After the Supreme Court ruled last year that though the law was constitutional, states could choose not to expand their Medicaid programs to cover the poor, Mr. Scott said that Florida would not expand its programs. Mr. Scott said Wednesday that he now supported a three-year expansion of Medicaid, through the period that the federal government has agreed to pay the full cost of the expansion, and before some of the costs are shifted to the states. ‘While the federal government is committed to paying 100 percent of the cost, I cannot in good conscience deny Floridians that needed access to health care,’ Mr. Scott said at a news conference. ‘We will support a three-year expansion of the Medicaid program under the new health care law as long as the federal government meets their commitment to pay 100 percent of the cost during that time.’ He said there were ‘no perfect options’ when it came to the Medicaid expansion. ‘To be clear: our options are either having Floridians pay to fund this program in other states while denying health care to our citizens,’ he said, ‘or using federal funding to help some of the poorest in our state with the Medicaid program as we explore other health care reforms.’” [New York Times, 2/21/13]

 

In 2014 PolitiFact Called Gov. Rick Scott’s Support of Medicaid Expansion a “Full Flop.” According to PolitiFact, “States across the country are still debating whether to expand Medicaid to serve the poor as part of the federal health care law. Florida Gov. Rick Scott is on record supporting an expansion, but he did not always hold that view. Scott’s critics continue to argue he isn’t pushing for the expansion hard enough. […] Scott fought the health care law before he became governor, and after the law passed, he continued to fight it. After the Supreme Court upheld the law, Scott said definitively that he opposed the Medicaid expansion. But several months later, in February 2013, Scott announced that he supported Medicaid expansion. He qualified that position by saying he wanted to try it for three years, so Florida could then judge how it was working. But he didn’t push the Legislature to approve it, and legislators ultimately rejected the expansion. In 2013, Scott completely reversed his stance on Medicaid expansion. So we rate this a Full Flop.” [PolitiFact, 2/25/14]