KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Gov. Scott’s Medicaid Decision Riles Conservatives

The Florida governor's move to expand Medicaid under the health law disappoints some of his supporters, but one newspaper praises the decision.

The Wall Street Journal: ObamaCare's Baby Elephant
On Wednesday Florida Republican Rick Scott became the latest GOP Governor to volunteer to shoulder some responsibility for ObamaCare, which has liberal sages gloating about a resistance-is-futile shift in the GOP. The media don't want to discuss the substance, only the politics, so allow us to report how the flippers are justifying their flips (2/20).

Palm Beach Post: Legislature Should Follow Governor And Expand Florida's Medicaid Program
Gov. Rick Scott is finally paying more than lip service to "putting Florida families first" with his announcement Wednesday that he supports expanding the state's Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act for three years. The announcement came only hours after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said it will allow Florida to put all Medicaid recipients into managed care. The move explains why Gov. Scott, who bashed the law, refused for two years to implement it and said he would not expand Medicaid, changed his mind (Rhonda Swan, 2/21).

Reason: ObamaCare Opponent Rick Scott To Proceed With Health Law's Medicaid Expansion In Florida
So why did Scott fold? (Michael) Cannon suggests that the governor is "doing it because he thinks it will help him get reelected.” But there may be a more immediate payoff. On Wednesday, Scott was granted a long-pending request for a Medicaid waiver up for approval with the Obama administration. With the waiver approved, the governor can shift large portions of the state's Medicaid population into privately run Medicaid "managed care" plans (Peter Suderman, 2/20).

National Review: Rick Scott’s Big Reversal
Governor Rick Scott expressed his support this afternoon for expansion of Florida’s Medicaid program, describing the decision as a choice between "having Floridians pay to fund this program in other states while denying health care to our citizens — or using federal funding to help some of the poorest in our state with the Medicaid program as we explore other health-care reforms." The decision is a major reversal for Scott, whose 2010 electoral victory derived largely from his fight against the Obama health law. It apparently came after furious lobbying by Florida conservatives and Scott allies to keep him from breaking ranks (Jillian Kay Melchior, 2/20).

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