FORT LAUDERDALE – Expanding Medicaid to an additional 1 million Floridians under President Barack Obama’s new health law is turning into one of the biggest issues of this year’s gubernatorial race.
Former Gov. Charlie Crist brings up the topic on most campaign stops and says one of the first things he’ll do if elected is call a special session to expand Medicaid. His opponent, incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott, seems to be waning in his support.
Scott says he’s open to taking roughly $51 billion over the next decade from the federal government, but only as long as Florida taxpayers aren’t left with the bill.
In a surprise move two years ago, Scott made an emotional speech, saying that Medicaid expansion was a compassionate, common-sense choice. But he never put his full political weight behind the issue and the Legislature rejected expansion under the Affordable Care Act.