Gov. Rick Scott: No Medicaid expansion for Florida, thanks

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has already demonstrated a propensity to be a total boss of a governor in the past — notably by rejecting federal cash ‘gifts‘ and standing up to the Justice Department over Florida’s voter fraud problems — and here he is again, letting it be known that Florida will not be participating in any of the optional portions of ObamaCare and Medicare expansion.

The Affordable Care Act does not require states to take any action before the 2012 general election, and the full law does not take effect until January 1, 2014, provided it is not repealed before that date. …

Florida will opt out of spending approximately $1.9 billion more taxpayer dollars required to implement a massive entitlement expansion of the Medicaid program. A second provision in the Affordable Care Act gives Governor Scott the flexibility to opt out of building insurance “exchanges.”

“Floridians are interested in jobs and economic growth, a quality education for their children, and keeping the cost of living low,” Governor Scott said. “Neither of these major provisions in ObamaCare will achieve those goals, and since Florida is legally allowed to opt out, that’s the right decision for our citizens.”

If ObamaCare isn’t repealed before the implementation date, then of course Florida will go forward with the mandatory parts of the law, but not until then, and Gov. Scott has made it clear he’ll join in the Republican efforts to get the law repealed. Since Florida is a clutch swing state and President Obama is looking mighty ready to move the campaign rhetoric away from ObamaCare, I can’t imagine this is welcome news — Team Obama likely doesn’t need or want anyone being more vocal about the still-unpopular legislation than necessary.

Other states’ governors are jumping on the sort of war-of-administrative-attrition bandwagon, too:

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a Republican, told CBS Face the Nation on Sunday that Wisconsin would not implement the health care law:

“We’re going to wait. We said all along there was a legal step, there’s a political step and after each of those steps were exhausted we see what the future holds,” Walker said, noting that the election is crucial to the future of health care policy.

“The only chance to repeal that is to put in place a new president, a new Senate majority, and then ultimately repeal the law,” Walker said.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a Republican, said on a GOP governor’s conference call that his state will continue to not implement the health care law as well.

“Here in Louisiana we have not applied for the grants, we have not accepted many of these dollars, we’re not implementing the exchanges,” Jindal said. “We don’t think it makes any sense to implement Obamacare in Louisiana. We’re going to do what we can to fight it.”

Of course, this is all just for show unless we can actually get President Obama out of office and then get ObamaCare repealed, but I still like it. Not only are the governors being frugal — no point wasting money getting started on this thing while it’s still feasibly going to be repealed or altered — but I also respect the tenacity. The outspoken unwillingness to just roll over and die never fails to warm my heart.

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David Strom 5:21 PM on December 09, 2022