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Florida: Still Unfriendly to the Working Poor, But Less So

Ilana Novick

In a surprising move from one of the Affordable Care Act's staunchest opponents, Florida Governor Rick Scott has endorsed the Medicaid expansion component of the healthcare law-- at least for the next three years. As the Hill points out, he's not the first governor to have changed his mind on the Medicaid expansion, but is arguably the "biggest get" for the Obama administration, considering Florida was the lead plaintiff in the case challenging the law. Other high-profile changes of heart on the Medicaid expansion include Arizona's Jan Brewer, Ohio's John Kasich and Michigan's Rick Snyder.

Scott announced at a February 20th news conference that "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."

A former healthcare executive elected in 2010, Scott's company actually made most of its revenue from government payments. He was forced to resign following a fraud investigation, though not before collecting extensive severance.

His first term has been defined by opposition to any government assistance in healthcare, especially programs that benefit the state's poorest residents.