Big Reversal: Florida Gov. Backs Key Part of ObamaCare

Scott now supports expansion of Medicaid

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 20, 2013 4:55 PM CST

(Newser) – ObamaCare scored a big surprise victory today thanks to one of its most strident critics, reports Politico. Florida Gov. Rick Scott reversed himself and backed an expansion of Medicaid in the state, reports the Tampa Bay Times, which calls it an "amazing policy reversal." Scott said the death of his mother gave him "new perspective" on the decision. The governor had said last summer the state would opt out of the expansion, which is a key part of the president's health-care overhaul.

That makes today's announcement "all the more remarkable," writes Sarah Kliff at the Washington Post. "It comes from one of the most ardent opponents of the Affordable Care Act—and would single-handedly add 1.3 million Floridians to the law’s insurance expansion." The feds promise to pay for the first three years of the expansion. Scott becomes the seventh Republican governor to back the plan, though the Tampa newspaper notes that the expansion still must gain the approval of the GOP-controlled state legislature, which is "not a certainty."

Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks in Fort Lauderdale in this photo from 2012.   (AP Photo/J Pat Carter, File)
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While the federal government is committed to pay 100% of the cost of new people in Medicaid, I cannot, in good conscience, deny the uninsured access to care. - Florida Gov. Rick Scott

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