Up | February 23, 2013
>>> florida republican governor rick scott announced his support this week for expanding medicare making florida -- yes, i lost my breath because it was so shocking. making florida only the seventh state with a republican governor to opt into the expansion.
>> while the federal government is committed to paying 100% of the cost, i cannot in good conscience deny floridians that need access to health care . we will support a three-year expansion of our medicare program under the new health care law . as long as the federal government meets their commitment to pay 100% of the cost during that time.
>> scott's announcement as he seen there in that hostage video is in many way a shocking development because rick scott who once led the country's largest for-profit hospital change has one of the largest proponents of the medicare act. he spent money to lead that. and florida fought the affordable care act only to lose. in june, scott responded to the court's decision upholding the aca.
>> it is so disappointing. this is going to be devastating for patients. devastating for taxpayers. it's going to be the biggest job killer ever. we're not going to implement obama care in florida . we're not going to expand medicaid because we're going to do the right thing.
>> the practical and moral victory of the affordable care act would provide coverage to people who would get covered through the medicaid expansion. rick scott aside, 14 have said they will not participate. the medicaid expansion will provide coverage to almost 6 million people in just those working states that have opted out. the implementation of medicaid expansion in the state level is now the front line of the health care battle in this country. will ultimately determine whether the new clauses in the social contract uniformly apply across the country. joining us julia arekoosh and former minute of mitt romney advisory group, author of the apothecary. tia mitchell, tampa bay time, miami tallahassee bureau. and joy reed. great to have you here. tia, you broke this story. what change -- flip-flop say term that gets overused in politics. but this is a flip-flop.
>> this is. and what happened is governor rick scott took the practical -- the words you used, practical, he said, it doesn't make sense for florida to leave 100% federal match on the table.
>> but the weird thing about it, he seemed like he just -- that was in the bill back in june when he said it was terrible. it wasn't like he was just rooting around in his desk and saw, oh, they're going to cover 100%. maybe we should get on this. he knew that.
>> well, a couple points i want to make. number one, he is not saying florida will, florida should. he's been very careful to say if the legislature does this, this is what i would sign.
>> and that's an important distinction because he's going to get the best of both worlds . he gets to look pragmatic. he's moderating himself. he's running for re-election in about a hour. however, he's not saying he's going to advocate for this or make it more likely it actually happens in florida .
>> that's a really good point. what do you think changed his mind on the politician of it? like i said, he can't be 100% of the fact it's on the federal government ?
>> i think moderating himself for re-election is a factor. also, he pointed out his mother passed away in november. he said it gave him quote/unquote new perspective about the law, its impacts and the needs of families to have health care . so i mean, i do think some of it was a personal decision. but it's also political and it's also -- you know, the bottom line is money.
>> yeah, i'm a little bit less convinced. i feel badly that his mother passed away . what happened in florida , tia well knows this, when the gun industry is not running florida . the insurance industry takes up and run florida . the insurance entities came to the legislature and said you're going to take this money. the hospital industry was first in line. the reason for that, public hospitals will essentially go bankrupt if this money is not taken. florida has 1.3 million uninsured.
>> second highest.
>> 12 million of, 995,000, approximately, of those people would not qualify for the exchanges and still have medicaid .
>> so that means these people can come to hospitals, get treated. and when the whole affordable care act passed, hospitals said they will take that to ensure the customers that come to us.
>> there was a trade. federal fund for hospitals for people who can't turn away. there's something like $50 billion a year spent by hospitals treating people like that.
>> and there's a federal fund that reimburses some.
>> that federal fund was cut by the affordable care act . what the hospitals are looking at if medicaid expansion doesn't happen, we no longer get the funds, but we don't get the medicaid , and we're screwed both ways.
>> exactly. miami hospital, it's treated people that literally face bankruptcy. the hospital lobby came to him and said you've got to take the money because we're using this money. the insurance company came to him and said we want privatization on this. he made a deal with the federal government to put people in hmos.
>> i want to show the incoming president of the florida hospital association basically coming to the florida state house . when when he come back, you can take a look at him basically coming to the state house and saying, please, give us the money. [ male announcer ] could've had a v8. 100% vegetable juice,