Congressional Democrats say Scott’s conscience should guide on Medicaidby John Kennedy | February 5th, 2014
Florida congressional Democrats attempted to turn up the heat Wednesday on Gov. Rick Scott over his walking away from his earlier bid to expand Medicaid coverage for more than 1 million Floridians.
Almost exactly one year ago, Scott held a news conference at the Governor’s Mansion to announce his support for expanding Medicaid coverage, an option given states under the Affordable Care Act. The federal government was poised to fully pay for the first three years of the expansion, and carry the bulk of the financing going forward.
“No mother or father should despair over whether or not they can afford — or access — the health care their child needs,” Scott said at the mansion.
House Speaker Will Weatheford, R-Wesley Chapel, refused to go along with Scott’s idea. And an alternate plan proposed by the Florida Senate also failed, with the House raising concerns about relying on federal financing and fears that Florida taxpayers could wind up owing more than promised.
In his latest budget proposal, Scott doesn’t mention Medicaid expansion. Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, have already declared expansion dead for the legislative session beginning March 4.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and other Florida Democrats want to know why.
“Governor, last year you said your conscience wouldn’t allow you to stand in the way of an expansion,” the lawmakers wrote Scott in a letter today. “We hope your conscience now will compel you to at least ask legislators to find a way to get this done.”