Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mitch Perry Report 7.10.14: Why Medicaid expansion will continue to be a key issue for Charlie Crist this fall

Posted By on Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 8:20 AM

click to enlarge sc_medicaid-1024x576.jpg
A number of groups, and not just Democrats, have been lobbying the Florida Legislature to reconsider its refusal to support expanding Medicaid here, which would provide health care to an additional 800,000-900,000 people in the Sunshine State. By other groups, I'm talking about such radicals as the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

But House Speaker Will Weatherford isn't going there, so it's not going to happen. 

But that reluctance works for Charlie Crist's campaign, as the Democrat constantly raps Rick Scott for his failure to "not lift a finger" in his less than stellar lobbying effort to get the Legislature to support Medicaid expansion, which he stunningly announced a year ago that he supported, fueling indignation amongst his Tea Party base. 

The reason I'm bringing this up is that Cleveland is hosting the 2016 RNC. As Jonathan Cohn's piece in the New Republic lays out, it's going to be a bit awkward that week as speaker after speaker bashes Obamacare, at the same time that the convention's host governor, John Kasich, went around his own GOP-led Legislature to get Medicaid expansion approved.

Cohn writes that during one State of the State Address, Kasich said this in advocating for Medicaid expansion:

“I can’t look at the disabled, I can’t look at the poor, I can’t look at the mentally ill, I can’t look at the addicted and think we oughta ignore them. For those that live in the shadows of life, those who are the least among us, I will not accept the fact that the most vulnerable in our state should be ignored. We can help them—and I want all of you to think about this.”  
Sort of powerful, isn't it? There were other Republican governors who faced the same odds that Scott did a year ago — like Kasich, Arizona's Jan Brewer and Pennsylvania's Tom Corbett — so it's completely fair game to challenge Scott on why he didn't go further in his advocacy. Of course, reporters have asked him that, and not received much of a response.

In other news...

There used to be over 100 cigar factories in Tampa. Now there is one, J.C. Newman & Company. Because of a proposed FDA rule, new regulations could kill the premium cigar manufacturer. Yesterday Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera visited the V.M. Ybor establishment. 

Since Lopez-Cantera was in Tampa, CL asked him about the gubernatorial race, and he had plenty of choice things to say about Charlie Crist.  

Yesterday was a "Day of Action" on immigration reform, during which the business community rallied to get President Obama and Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Good luck with that. Essentially the GOP House has been  the obstacle to that happening, but a group of Florida leaders held a conference call during which they stuck to the script and called on the president and the House to come together...

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