Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mitch Perry Report 2.21.13: Gov. Scott's about face on Medicaid expansion dubbed "a sad day for conservatives"

Posted By on Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 8:31 AM

Today, conservative activists in Florida and across the country are denouncing Rick Scott after his Wednesday announcement about Medicaid. He said he supports expanding Medicaid, following other Republican governors like Ohio's John Kasich, Michigan's Rick Snyder, Arizona's Jan Brewer, and several others who are reversing course in expanding their state's health insurance program to cover more low-income residents.

The federal government will pay the full cost for the first three years under the new system, with the state expected to pay up to 10 percent later. Some governors are worried that the federal government might decide to trim back its contribution in the future.

The reaction among Democrats and healthcare advocates was "it's about time," but the reaction from the conservative and Tea Party world was swift and condemning. Some activists called Scott the "Benedict Arnold to the tea party movement in Florida."

In a blog post called "I am very disappointed in Governor Rick Scott," famed conservative pundit Eric Ericson from dubbed Gov. Scott's announcement a "sad day for conservatives."

The Department of Health & Human Services is going to allow Scott to privatize Medicaid coverage — and his opinion may not matter. House Speaker Will Weatherford and Sen. Joe Negron were quoted yesterday as saying that it's nice to get it, but they're going to make up their own minds about this decision. They obviously aren't about to go before statewide voters next year, so consider those odds before you get too excited about this decision, whatever your opinion.

In the news yesterday, the Hillsborough County Commission overwhelmingly approved the controversial public subsidy to Bass Pro Shops for roads to their new proposed superstore in Brandon.

Tomorrow, four of the Tampa Bay area's leading meteorologists will gather at USF Tampa to talk about the weather. Our question for two of the panelists is: Will they continue to deny the effects of climate change?

And yesterday, the League of Conservation Voters gave out its National Environmental Scorecard, and Marco Rubio received one of the poorest scores in the country.

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