Scott’s Medicaid shift ’causes concern’ with conservatives, GOP committeeman saysby George Bennett | March 5th, 2013
TALLAHASSEE — Florida Republican National Committeeman Peter Feaman of Boynton Beach says Gov. Rick Scott‘s recent 180-degree turn on expanding Medicaid as part of the federal health care law has caused some heartburn with his conservative base.
After years of opposing the health care law and its offer of expanded Medicaid for states, Scott recently announced that he supports adding about 1 million recipients to Florida’s Medicaid rolls, at least for three years. The federal government will cover the entire cost for three years, then eventually pay 90 percent with states picking up the rest.
“I think it causes concern among the fiscal conservatives that Gov. Scott may be wavering in his commitment to fiscal conservatism. My personal opinion is that he’s not. But the concern is out there,” said Feaman, who’s in town for a variety of GOP events and today’s opening of the legislative session.
With House Speaker Will Weatherford opposed to the Medicaid expansion, Feaman said, “I think it’s a moot issue…If it’s not going to get out of the House, it’s done.”
Plagued by low approval ratings and demonized by Democrats as a heartless tea party budget-slasher, Scott recently announced his Medicaid reversal. After supporting education spending cuts and clashing with teacher unions, Scott recently proposed a $2,500 across-the-board pay increase for all teachers.
Feaman was asked if he sees Scott’s shifts as a sign he’s worried about his 2014 re-election prospects.
“No. It shows that he represents all of the people of Florida,” Feaman said.
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