Hard ball politics over health care reform are on full display at the State Capitol this week, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, Governor Rick Scott is now threatening legal action against the Obama Administration.
”We need you to flip one more time Rick!”
Rick Scott was once for expanded healthcare. Now he is against it. A hundred nurses took over the Capitol’s fourth floor rotunda to urge Scott to “flip again” State Senator Oscar Braynon (D-Miami) told the nurses that people at the Capitol are talking theory when a health crisis is real.
“In theory, we may lose our public hospitals. In theory, people may not get health coverage. In theory people will actually die as a result of this.”
The Federal government has said it is pulling the plug on two billion in funding for hospitals who treat people who can’t pay. That’s unless the state adopts a Senate plan to expand care to the poor using federal money.
The standoff has the House and Governor on one side and the Senate on the other.
Despite the nurses upstairs, Governor Rick Scott,in a release, said he’s standing firm.
Scott’s office calls the threat of losing money cohesion and says he will file suit against the Obama Administration. Scott was out of town, but Lt Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera spoke for him. “Well, we need to explore every option to ensure that these funds are available for the most needly here in Florida.”
At a minimum, the standoff will trigger an expensive special or extended legislative session. House Democratic Leader Mark Pafford calls it unnecessary.
“I mean its wasted money. What have we done? We can put together an 80 billion dollar budget in 60 says.”
And in the first sign of a thaw in the fight, House Speaker Steve Cristifuli says the House is reviewing its options.
“You know, finding other free market ways to approach that is what we are looking at” says Cristifulli.
A plan to cut taxes sought by the Governor is already an early casualty of the standoff. It’s on hold while lawmakers sort out how to get themselves out a dilemma of their own creation.
More than 800,00 people would be covered under an expanded Medicaid program. The Federal Government would pick up the tab for the first three years, and 90 percent in year four. Opponents say they don’t believe the Feds will follow through in later years.
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