Editorial: Failure at the top on Medicaid

Tampa Bay Times Editorial
Friday, December 13, 2013 4:54pm

Florida is stuck with a tea party governor who won’t talk and a tea party House speaker who won’t listen. Gov. Rick Scott refuses to repeat his earlier support for Medicaid expansion, and House Speaker Will Weatherford refuses to hear the economic and moral arguments for accepting billions of federal dollars to cover the poor. Congress is finally rejecting such ideological rigidness in embracing a budget compromise, and the Legislature should do the same on health care.

At least twice last week, Scott declined to publicly reaffirm his support for accepting billions from Washington to expand Medicaid. The Republican governor’s embrace always sounded unenthusiastic, and it came hours after the Obama administration approved his request in February to convert the state’s entire Medicaid program into a managed care system. Scott did not push the House to adopt a Senate plan to take the federal money, and he dropped the subject after the Legislature adjourned in May. Now he chokes on his own words of support as he gears up his re-election campaign.

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