In a complete about-face, Republican Governor Rick Scott of Florida is backing Medicaid expansion under President Obama’s health care law. Scott was a staunch opponent of the president’s Affordable Care Act, fighting it all the way to the Supreme Court. But now, his decision to support a limited expansion of the law could bring health care coverage to an additional 1.3 million Floridians.
“What Rick Scott is doing is saying ‘yes, give me Medicaid money for three years while I run for reelection’ which happens in 2014,” syndicated radio talk show host Andy Dean said on Jansing & Co. Thursday. “So all this is, is a self serving political move.”
Scott released a statement saying he would only agree to the expansion for three years while the federal government picks up all the costs.
“I want to believe that he woke up and saw the light that ensuring a million Floridians is a good thing,” democratic strategist Chris Kofinis told msnbc’s Chris Jansing. “The reality is he’s facing a reelection campaign where his poll numbers are in the toilet. And the reality I think he faces is, unless he does something dramatic to change his image, he’s going to have a very tough reelection. Unfortunately I have a feeling this had more to do with politics than policy.”
The Florida governor’s conditional endorsement to expand Medicaid must still be approved by the Florida Legislature.