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Florida Senate President Undecided on Medicaid Expansion

It takes three to tango.

While Florida Governor Rick Scott says he now wants to expand Medicaid, he needs the state house and senate to go along.

Senate President Don Gaetz is taking a wait and see approach.

"I want to have an informed view, not a bumper stick view," said Gaetz.

As a result, Gaetz says he's waiting for a select committee's report on the possible expansion of Medicaid to one million Floridians before taking a stand on the issue.

After the state went to court to fight that expansion under the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, on Wednesday, Governor Rick Scott announced he's changed his mind.

"Quality health care should be accessible and affordable for all Floridians," said Scott.

"I think the governor has a right to change his mind," said Gaetz. "Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds," he said.

The governor says he'll only support the Medicaid expansion for the three years the federal government will pay for all of it.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam isn't buying it.

"The idea that the feds are going to supply this money for free, it's not free," said Putnam.

"We have to look pretty hard to find an entitlement that ever got unwound once it was wound up," said Gaetz.

More significantly, Gaetz says it appears the House is less enthusiastic than the governor about Medicaid expansion as expressed by Speaker Will Weatherford.

"I'm very skeptical," said Weatherford.

"If the House says no and we say yes, it still doesn't get to yes," said Gaetz.

He says the Senate Select Committee on Medicaid expansion should conclude it's work next month.

The Senate has already decided against setting up a state insurance exchange, an option under Obamacare.


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