TAMPA - Governor Rick Scott practically built his political career with his opposition to the Affordable Healthcare Act, also known as 'Obamacare.'
But since the law was upheld by the Supreme Court, Scott has softened his tone and Monday even went to Washington D.C. to meet with an administration official.
Governor Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi led the fight against the AHA, and even after it passed, vowed to contest its main provisions, the biggest of which is an expansion of Medicaid.
Under the law, starting in 2014, you won't have to be quite so poor to quality for Medicaid, which will open the insurance program to an estimated 1.2 million Floridians.
Because Medicaid is administered through the states, Governor Rick Scott has a say in this and says "not so fast."
"Florida's Agency for Healthcare Administration put out their estimate for what the expansion would cost just for Florida taxpayers, and it's over $26 billion," Scott told reporters gathered on a Washington D.C. sidewalk.
After meeting with Kathleen Sebelius, the administration's Secretary of Health and Human Services, Scott seemed ill inclined to cooperate with the expansion of Medicaid, even though the first two years will be paid entirely by the Federal government and 90 percent after that.
"He's overstating the cost and not counting the savings, so if he's going to base his argument on fuzzy math, that's not going to serve the interests of Floridians very well," says Democratic Congresswoman, Kathy Castor.
Castor says by refusing the Medicaid expansion money, Scott is essentially turning away billions of dollars, just as he did with the federally funded high-speed rail.
"Those dollars are gone. Now we have a chance to keep our hard-earned tax dollars in Florida, create jobs and provide coverage for those who don't have it, and that's worth fighting for," said Castor.
Scott says he wants a safety net for Florida citizens, but opposes an expansion of Government that he believes will be irreversible.
"I don't want to promise somebody something the state can't afford. I'm worried, not about the next three years, but the next six years, the next seven years. I've got to take a long term outlook," said Scott.
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