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Florida Gov. Rick Scott reverses stance on Medicaid. Win for White House? (+video)

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(Read caption) Florida Gov. Rick Scott reversed his position, and will now accept federal funding for expanded Medicaid coverage.
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Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday said he will support expansion of his state’s Medicaid program to cover an additional one million low-income Floridians. It was a sudden and complete position reversal for GOP Governor Scott, who has been a fierce opponent of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which generously subsidizes Medicaid expansions as a major means of providing more Americans with health insurance nationwide.

Scott said that he had gained a new perspective on the issue following his mother’s death last year.

“Before I ever dreamed of standing here today as governor of this great state, I was a strong advocate for better ways to improve healthcare than the government-run approach taken in the President’s health-care law,” he said at a news conference. “I believe in a different approach. But, regardless of what I or anyone else believes, a Supreme Court decision and a presidential election made the president’s health-care mandates the law of the land.”

Wow. In terms of political health-care news, this is about as big as it gets. Is Scott’s decision a major victory for the White House?

Maybe. We qualify the statement only because Scott’s move does not make Florida Medicaid expansion a done deal. The legislature must still approve it, and that’s not certain. The speaker of the Florida House, Will Weatherford, insisted to National Review Online Thursday that his chamber’s support is far from assured.


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