On the eve of convening of the 2013 session, the House Select Committee on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act rejected the expansion. A Senate counterpart committee postponed consideration of the issue, which is sure to be one of the biggest controversies of the session. [...]"Fiscally conservative" is code for teabagger crazy here. This is a state with one of the highest rates of uninsured people in the nation, with eight percent unemployment and one of the stingiest Medicaid programs, where the annual income limit for a family of three is $11,000. And Republican House Speaker Will Weatherford has the gall to say of the expansion: "The facts show that health-care costs will go up for many Floridians, while access to, and quality of, health care will go down." There's already no access to care for millions of Floridians, and that's by political design.
"There's definitely a fight between the governor and the (state) legislature over this. The Republicans in the legislature are much more fiscally conservative than his actions have shown him to be," said Susan MacManus, a Tampa-based political scientist at the University of South Florida.
Plenty of health care wonks thought that there wasn't any way even the most conservative, most teabaggerish of states could turn down the very enticing offer of lots of free money to improve public health. And we were all wrong. Because making government work to actually help people and to make life better is exactly what they don't want to do.