Scott no-show as governors talk Medicaid, sequestration in DCby Dara Kam | February 25th, 2013
Florida Gov. Rick Scott was again a no-show at the National Governors Association annual meeting this year as the states’ chief execs met with President Obama and White House staff to discuss looming budget cuts that will impact virtually every sector of their economies.
Scott dropped Florida’s membership in the non-partisan group last year, saying the $200,000 annual fee could be better spent. Scott is a member of the Republican Governors Association, the political group that helps elect GOP governors.
The governors met with President Obama, who also hosted a gala dinner for the group last night, today at the White House.
In addition to meetings with White House staff and the president on the sequestration budget cuts slated to go into effect on Friday, the governors are also discussing Medicaid costs that consume huge chunks of their state budgets.
Scott, who launched his political career fighting what later became the Affordable Care Act, last week made national news when he announced Florida would expand its Medicaid program, a linchpin of the federal law. The expansion requires the support of the state Legislature, however, and GOP House and Senate leaders have not said whether they would endorse Scott’s plan.
When asked why Scott skipped this year’s meeting, spokeswoman Jackie Schutz said in an e-mail the governor had other things on his agenda today and over the weekend.
When pressed, Schutz said :Florida is not a member of the NGA – Florida’s membership would be nearly $200,000.”
Scott had no events on Saturday and attended the Daytona 500 on Sunday. He spent this morning in Apalachicola and the rest of the day in Tallahassee.