leaning toward opting out
In February, Florida’s Republican Governor Rick Scott said his state would sign on for the first three years of the Medicaid expansion program. But without the consent of the Republican-dominated legislature, the state will be unable to do so.
His decision was a dramatic reversal of his earlier opinion — Scott, a former health care executive and investor who successfully pushed to privatize Medicaid in his state, was one of the first governors to announce that his state would be opting out of the Medicaid expansion. He even wrote an op-ed in July about his distaste for the Medicaid expansion in U.S. News & World Report. “The Medicaid expansion would put other vital government functions like education, public safety, and infrastructure at risk,” he wrote. “Frankly, that isn’t something I’m willing to do.”
But a few months later, Scott had changed his mind. “While the federal government is committed to paying 100 percent of the cost, I cannot in good conscience deny Floridians that needed access to health care,” Scott said at a news conference. He said the recent death of his mother, who had raised Scott and his four siblings with “very little money,” contributed to his change of heart. “Losing someone so close to you puts everything in a new perspective, especially the big decisions,” he said.