Florida Gov. Rick Scott Blames Obama For Lack Of State Health Care Funding

rick scottAlmost 5 years ago, I left Florida shortly before the 2010 election in which Rick Scott was elected governor. One of the promises he ran on, which he briefly reversed in 2013, was to block Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Since then, Florida’s legislature, which is firmly in the control of conservative Republicans, has refused to accept Medicaid expansion despite Rick Scott briefly changing his mind before going back again.

From the time the Affordable Care Act was passed until now, Florida has used a “low-income pool” fund that is about to see an end of matching federal funds in June. Needless to say, Rick Scott is angry and instead of laying the blame at the feet of the Florida Legislature where it rightfully belongs, he’s blaming President Obama and the federal government.

From the Orlando Sentinel:

At a meeting on Wednesday, Scott urged Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to keep federal funds flowing for a “Low Income Pool,” a $2.2 billion program that uses local tax funds to draw down $1.3 billion in federal funding.

The state has relied on the pool to avoid expanding Medicaid, which House Republicans in Tallahassee adamantly refuse to approve.

After the meeting, HHS officials said they had warned Scott since July that the low-income pool would not be extended in its present form beyond June. They said that “pool funding should not pay for costs that would be covered in a Medicaid expansion.”

The Obama administration wants all states to accept Medicaid expansion — including federal payments that would cover 90 percent or more of the cost. But Florida and some other Republican-run states oppose the new law, saying it will leave them with higher costs. (Source)

Rick Scott now finds himself trapped by the ideology of the Tea Party, an angry wave he rode into office back when he was first elected in 2010. He could go the Florida Legislature and beg them to put partisan ideology aside for the sake of the citizens of Florida, but who I am kidding? This is Governor Rick Scott who is likely angling for a potential VP spot on a 2016 Republican presidential ticket, and like most other politicians, he’s willing to put his future political aspirations and loyalty to the Republican Party over the interests of his constituents.

So what does he do instead? Blame Washington and President Obama, of course. Florida could have accepted Medicaid expansion which would have paid for itself for the first few years, and then 90% of costs after that. However, these are Tea Party Republicans we’re talking about; they would probably stop breathing if President Obama came out in favor of oxygen or start playing in traffic if he said to look both ways before crossing the street.

Florida isn’t the only state under Republican control to refuse Medicaid expansion. Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and others have followed suit with governors like Rick Perry, Mary Fallin and Bobby Jindal claiming that they can’t afford the 10% of costs that they would eventually shoulder for the program. Rick Scott even went so far as to threaten to sue the Obama administration earlier this year, and in 2011, Florida was one of 26 states that joined a suit against the Affordable Care Act. However, these same states manage to give out huge tax breaks to corporations which would more than cover these costs, which shows they’re more interested in keeping their big business friends and donors happy than they are with the health of their constituents.

Rick Scott could push back against the legislature and possibly take actions to circumvent them, but he’ll put his political future with the Republican Party first – and blame President Obama all the way.


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  • GimmeSomeTruth

    Of the Confederate States that signed the Constitution of the Confederate States in 1861, a month prior to them provoking the Civil War, Florida was one of the seven. The Confederate States do not recognize the Federal Government as elected by “We the People” nor do they recognize the American Constitution. They recognize their own Government as elected by them and their own Constitution. Therefore, the Federal Government, in their frame of thinking, does not apply to them. The Conservative/Republicans are taking America to the medieval/rock ages. Separation of races, gender and sexual orientation is in their primordial priorities. Establishing a Government based on Theocracy/Plutocracy is their goal. All we need to do is follow the rhetoric of the Republican Presidential candidates and we see where they want to take our(their) Country. The lunatics are running the asylum.

  • Douglas Kay

    The political ideology in the USA is all askew, almost everybody is right wing or extreme right wing there’s no balance. I hear people talking about Obama being a Commie, and I of course realize the speaker is an extreme R.W. which is soon borne out when he opens his/her ignorant mouth again. The people who would vote more reasonably are mostly locked up. Florida imprisoned many black people in 2000 and many others were not allowed to vote for various reasons. What makes it all so weird is the media telling anyone daft enough to listen that the USA is a democracy.