After Rick Scott’s reversal, warring sides gear up over Medicaid expansionby John Kennedy | February 21st, 2013
With Gov. Rick Scott reversing course and urging lawmakers to embrace Medicaid expansion as part of the federal health care overhaul, both sides in the battle have begun gearing up.
The James Madison Institute unveiled a new survey Thursday which shows 59 percent of voters oppose expanding Medicaid to 138 percent of the poverty level, after learning it may cost Florida taxpayers $3 billion over 10 years to draw $26 billion from the federal government in that time.
The poll also found that 63 percent of respondents also had concerns about whether the federal government would fulfill its commitment to cover all costs of the expansion for the first three years, with the state share maxed out at 10 percent over the decade.
JMI, a conservative policy organization which usually supports Scott initiatives, acknowledged it wasn’t expecting the governor to call the expansion.
“The governor’s announcement has come as a bit of a surprise,” said Thomas Perrin, the institute’s public affairs director. “We understand his desire to improve the health care system in our state. However, we believe that expanding an ineffective program in an attempt to provide health insurance is bad policy.”
Supporters of the expansion also are weighing in. The Florida Hospital Association, which has said the expansion will improve the quality of health care and reduce their cost of charity care, this week began running a Spanish-language radio spot on Miami stations touting the plan.
Polling shows the health care overhaul is supported by more than 70 percent of Hispanic voters, the hospital association said.