Republican Governors across the nation have been changing their tune on Obamacare.
Last week, Republican Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, became the seventh GOP governor to accept the expansion of Medicaid coverage in his state – a key pillar of Obama’s healthcare plan. Scott joins the ranks of other fellow party members in Ohio, Michigan, North Dakota, New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona who have all opted into Medicaid expansion.
Despite having campaigned for years against President Obama’s healthcare law, calling it a “job killer,” Scott conceded to the expansion, saying he could not “in good conscience deny Floridians healthcare.” Nor could he deny the economic incentive. In Florida alone, the expansion would create over 71,000 jobs and put $8.9 billion into the state’s economy.
However, not all Republican Governors stand with Scott. Texas Governor Rick Perry said that “to expand this program is not unlike adding a thousand people to the Titanic.” And Republican Governor Nikki Haley called Medicaid expansion a “public policy disaster” in her State of the State address last month.
So far, 22 states have agreed to the expansion, while 17 have opted out and 11 remain undecided. According to the Congressional Budget Office, if all of the states opted in, 17 million uninsured Americans would be added to the Medicaid rolls.
As some governors make the reversal on Medicaid, does this mean the GOP battle over Obamacare is over? New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait says that Rick Scott’s decision to expand Medicaid delivered a “death blow to Obamcare repeal.” But only time will tell.