Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, said he supports expanding Medicaid under President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul while the federal government pays the full cost, reversing a previous position.
Scott, 60, said at a news conference today in Tallahassee that he will ask the state legislature to back the expansion under Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. After the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law in June, Scott said he wouldn’t expand Medicaid, and then after the November presidential election said he was open to it.
Scott joins six other Republican governors who have agreed to expand Medicaid, the federal-state health plan for the poor, according to a tally by the Advisory Board Co., a research and consulting company in Washington. Scott and four other Republicans who are backing expanded coverage – John Kasich of Ohio, Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Brian Sandoval of Nevada and Rick Snyder of Michigan — face elections next year.
Scott said he supports a “limited” expansion that would last for three years. That’s a reasonable time to judge the expansion and“a compassionate, common sense step forward,” he said.
“It is not a white flag of surrender to government-run health care,” Scott said.