According to Rick Scott's schedule, the governor will be in Sunrise this morning where he will distribute a "recognition" check at Piper High School. It's part of a state program that rewards A-rated schools or schools that demonstrate "exemplary improvement due to innovation and effort." Whether his gesture will win him any love from the education establishment in Florida is dubious, but it brings me to another Scott-related issue that sparks my curiosity: Will the governor use his bully pulpit to persuade the Legislature to support his call for Medicaid expansion?
If you read the daily papers, you might get the assumption that Medicaid expansion is dead, dead, dead in the House. But I've yet to see a whip breakdown. For such a major policy change, might the governor actually try to knock heads to get the House to see it his way? Nobody thinks that's going to happen, but in Arizona, the equally conservative governor — Jan Brewer — is doing exactly that, according to today's New York Times.
The paper reports that Brewer "has thrown all of her political capital behind the effort, traveling across the state to sell her message." Say what you will about Brewer, but she appears to be putting everything on the line for something that she strongly believes in.
Does Scott really believe in Medicaid expansion? If he does (and let's take him at his word that he does), then doesn't he owe a strong effort to the million or so people who would be added to the Florida insurance rolls? Or is that not in his job description, or in his DNA?
On television yesterday we got to see a whole lot more of Jeb Bush. The former Florida governor commanded national attention as he is flirting with the idea of running for president in 2016. He did emphasize that whether he does or doesn't, it has nothing to do with any "baggage" that the Bush name carries.
Over on Fox News Sunday, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan is about to unveil his totally unrealistic budget plan. Unrealistic we say, because it would only work if the Affordable Care Act would be repealed, something this current president would never agree to. Fox News' Chris Wallace called out Ryan for that little issue yesterday. Will other media voices follow?
And do you know anything about the Trans-Pacific Partnership? On Saturday a teach-in on the trade agreement was presented in Ybor City.