I didn’t vote for Rick Scott. I don’t see how anyone could. But the majority of Florida’s voters don’t see things my way. They re-elected the man as our governor.
Now, they’re getting what they deserve. Lousy government.
Even Republican allies are at odds with this sorry excuse for a governor. The Legislature, which has large GOP majorities in both houses, can’t pass a budget.
A major reason is a disagreement over Medicaid expansion, which Scott has both supported and opposed. The Senate, backed by hospitals and business groups, wants to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, but the House is blocking it.
Scott is among the loudest naysayers. He is even suing the Obama Administration to stop the Medicaid expansion program.
He was once an ardent supporter. Two years ago, he declared he could no longer “in good conscience” oppose the expansion, which would provide health care coverage to nearly a million Floridians.
Back then, he claimed, he was experiencing a change of heart because of his mother’s death. But, as he now admits, he was really just trying to sweet talk the Obama Administration into letting Florida privatize Medicaid. The ruse worked. Private companies now manage Medicaid benefits for more than three million Floridians.
Scott seems to have forgotten his mother’s death, and obviously couldn’t care less for the benefits Obamacare could provide for Floridians.
The state now pays 40 percent of Medicaid costs and the federal government pays the rest. With the proposed expansion, the federal government would foot the entire bill at first, and 90 percent later on.
And a billion-dollar federal grant that defrays hospital care for indigent patients in the state expires June 30 unless the Legislature can reach a deal with the feds on Medicaid.
Scott tried to persuade the folks in Washington to keep paying for indigent patients even without the deal on Medicaid. But you know what they say about “once bitten, twice shy.” The feds weren’t about to get taken again.
Legislators must pass a budget by June 30 to avoid a government shutdown. And if they don’t accept Medicaid expansion, how are they going to compensate for that missing billion dollars? Probably by leaving homeowners like me with higher municipal taxes or reduced services – or both.
I don’t think anyone believed Scott could be trusted. A health care company he operated had to pay a fine of more than $1.5 billion dollars for cheating Medicare. Remember?
But I bet the folks who voted for him didn’t think they were going to be caught in the political crossfire between this double-dealing sweet talker and the feds.