Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Senate panel rejects Medicaid expansion


A select Senate panel has just rejected Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed Medicaid expansion, a week after identical action by their counterparts in the Florida House of representatives.

Governor Rick Scott is left standing alone on the proposed Medicaid expansion, which some critics (myself included) viewed as an electoral move which would leave Florida on the hook for a huge unfunded mandate long after Scott has left office.
Per the Palm Beach Post:
A Senate panel Monday joined its House counterpart in rejecting Gov. Rick Scott’s push to expand Medicaid to bring health coverage to another 1 million lower-income Floridians.
The partyline vote came after Republicans ridiculed the expansion as building on a broken Medicaid system. Scott’s call to at least try the expansion for the three years it will be fully financed by the federal government also carried little weight with critics.
Be sure to read the full post, both for possible republican alternatives to Medicaid expansion, and for the PBP’s special, special reportage- which includes not a peep from fiscal conservatives anywhere who might express skepticism at the notion that a state with recent and well-documented budget issues has enough money to fund an aggressive new entitlement.  

If you read a bit further down, you’ll see a bit of Democrat concern-trolling.  I’m fairly certain that reports of shock and dismay that some Republicans somewhere bucked a business group are greatly exaggerated.  
Democrats were stunned — pointing out that Republican leaders were also defying major business associations and Florida hospitals, which also have embraced the expansion.
“We have a moral and economic responsibility to seize this moment for the good of Floridians,” said Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood.”
If anything, we need more of that.  Cronyism is bad whether red or blue.  

What happens next is anyone’s guess, but I’m willing to posit that the Florida Legislature will start working on some variant of the Arkansas Plan…and Governor Scott will try to extract himself from this self-inflicted rick-rolling, and from this cudgel that he has unwittingly handed to Charlie Crist

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