Scott’s push for Medicaid expansion gets tougher; Weatherford blasts itby John Kennedy | March 5th, 2013
Gov. Rick Scott’s task to get his push for Medicaid expansion through the Legislature got a bit tougher Tuesday — with House Speaker Will Weatherford openly deriding the plan and accusing the Obama administration of trying to “buy off” states.
“I am opposed to Medicaid expansion because I believe it crosses the line of the proper role of government,” Weatherford told the House in an address on the session’s opening day.
“I believe it forces Florida to expand a broken system that we have been battling Washington to fix, and I believe it will ultimately drive up the cost of health care,” he added.
Weatherford said the Obama administration is trying to “buy off” states with Medicaid cash, that for Florida would amount to $26 billion over the next decade. Florida would have to put up $3 billion for the aid, which is seen as helping extend health coverage
to about 1 million of the state’s 4 million uninsured.
Scott, however, has said that expanding Medicaid for at least the next three years – when the federal government promises to fully finance it – makes sense for Florida.