Florida’s Medicaid program is about to get bigger – a lot bigger.
In a flip-flop from a previous decision, Gov. Rick Scott has acquiesced to expanding the state’s Medicaid program to provide coverage for an estimated 1.3 million more people. The expansion is a major prong in the Obamacare program that kicks into effect in 2014, according to The Huffington Post.
Scott has been an outspoken opponent of Obamacare in the past. His disdain for the concept of government-backed universal healthcare coverage even prompted him to dip into his own fortune. He spent about $5 million of his own cash to prevent President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform legislation from being passed in the first place.
Once it did pass – and he became governor – Scott continued his anti-Obamacare stance. He’s been quoted on numerous occasions saying that Florida wouldn’t expand its Medicaid rolls to take part.
All that changed Wednesday, Feb. 20, when Scott announced his new stance.
"I want every Floridian to have access to high-quality health care they can afford," The Huffington Post quoted Scott as saying.
Under the plan, Medicaid coverage would be open to Floridians who earn up to 133 percent of the poverty level. That amounts to $15,282 for a single person, the Post reported. The increase in costs will be covered by the federal government from 2014-2016. After that, the state will start picking up some of the costs.
To make the expansion happen, the state is going to have to spend about $5.4 billion through 2022. It will get $66.1 billion from the federal government for taking part, according to the Post.
What do you think changed Gov. Scott’s mind? Do you think he was right? Or, should he have stood his anti-Obamacare ground? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.