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Rick Scott
Gov. Rick Scott

Florida's Gov. Rick Scott broke ranks this spring, becoming the most prominent Republican, tea-party type governor to accept federal Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, even though he was probably only doing it to save his political skin. But the Republican House in Florida either doesn't care about whether his skin is saved, or that more than four million Floridians are uninsured, about a quarter of which could have received Medicaid through the expansion. The legislature adjourned last Friday without taking action on the expansion.
In a way, this is a bit surprising. No one ever expected to hear Scott extoll the benefits of President Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment. That being said, the Medicaid expansion is a really big deal for state budgets—the budget that Scott is charged with overseeing. If his state had participated in the Medicaid expansion, the Urban Institute estimated it would bring $66 billion of federal funds into the state over the course of a decade.

That same burden doesn’t rest so heavy on state legislators. States and hospitals tend to cover much of the country’s uncompensated care and unpaid medical bills

Scott isn't the only Republican governor who looked at this Medicaid expansion money as an opportunity to help the state's bottom line. In Ohio, Arizona, and Michigan governors are fighting with legislators, who want to make the political statement of rejecting everything there is to do with Obamacare, whatever the cost.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon May 06, 2013 at 11:38 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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