- The Washington Times - Friday, March 1, 2013

Florida’s Gov. Rick Scott may have jumped the gun a bit with his recent announcement that he supports Obamacare’s expansions to Medicaid, after all.

Just minutes after his announcement — which represented a significant change of heart from his previous denouncements of the federal health care overhaul — lawmakers in the state were rallying in opposition, the Associated Press reports. As House Speaker Will Weatherford said, any expansions to the Medicaid program need legislative action, AP said. And not all Republicans are so ready as Mr. Scott to turn back their previous opposition to Obamacare and join in the call for federal money.

“I am personally skeptical that this inflexible law will improve the quality of health care in our state and ensure our long-term financial stability,” said Mr. Weatherford, in the AP report.

Tuesday opens a new legislative session in Florida, and the Medicaid expansion issue could dominate talks.

Mr. Scott, AP says, only wants to expand the Medicaid program for three years — or, only as long as federal tax dollars pay for it. He sees the program taking care of an estimated 900,000 Floridians, AP reports. But resistance brews among politicos.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush visited state lawmakers during a recent trip to the Capitol and advised them to seek a different way of providing care, outside of Medicaid, AP reports. The Republican chair of the Senate committee that oversees health care says his panel is close to making a recommendation.

“But we’re not there yet,” Sen. Joe Negron said, AP reports.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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