Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that he would support a limited, three-year expansion of the state's Medicaid program under the president's healthcare law while the federal government is paying 100 percent of the cost in order to protect both the uninsured in Florida and state taxpayers.
Governor Scott said, "While the federal government is committed to paying 100 percent of the cost of new people in Medicaid, I cannot, in good conscience, deny the uninsured access to care. We will support a three-year expansion of our Medicaid program under the new healthcare law, as long as the federal government meets their commitment to pay 100 percent of the cost during this time. This legislation would sunset after three years and need to be reauthorized.
"There are no perfect options. Our options are either having Floridians pay to fund this program in other states while denying healthcare to our citizens or using federal funding to help some of the poorest in our state with the Medicaid program as we explore other healthcare reforms.
"Expanding access to Medicaid services for three years is a compassionate, common sense step forward. It is not the end of our work to improve healthcare. And, it is not a white flag of surrender to government-run healthcare. I am committed to working every day to improve access to affordable, high-quality healthcare in Florida, while also protecting taxpayers and keeping our economy growing to create more jobs -- which ultimately fuels the dreams of every Florida family."
The Governor's full remarks as prepared for delivery are available here: