POLITICS

FL House speaker and state AG express reservations about Scott’s Medicaid decision

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Philip Klein

Florida Gov. Rick Scott rocked the world of health care policy on Wednesday by endorsing an expansion of Medicaid in his state — a central part of President Obama’s health care law — despite building his political career as an opponent of Obamacare. But Scott’s plan still has to get through the state legislature first. Though that’s likely, especially given the strength of the hospital lobby in the state, House Speaker Will Weatherford made it clear that the legislature wasn’t ready to rubber stamp the proposal.

“Governor Scott has made his decision and I certainly respect his thoughts,” Whetherford said in an emailed statement. “However, the Florida Legislature will make the ultimate decision. I am personally skeptical that this inflexible law will improve the quality of healthcare in our state and ensure our long-term financial stability.”

Florida led the 26-state health care challenge to the Supreme Court, which ultimately gave states the option of rejecting the Medicaid expansion. Attorney General Pam Bondi also expressed reservations about Scott’s move.

“I am concerned about the consequences of greater federal control over health care and a major expansion of government; nonetheless, at least Florida’s lawsuit has given each state a choice,” Bondi said in an emailed statement.

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