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Health News Florida

Scott Stops Shy of Promising Medicaid Veto

Gov. Rick Scott
Gov. Rick Scott
Gov. Rick Scott
Credit Associated Press

 Florida Gov. Rick Scott stopped shy of saying he would veto an expansion to Medicaid. Speaking to reporters in Orlando Tuesday, Scott said the federal government can’t be trusted to pay for Medicaid.

But when pressed, he stopped short of saying he would veto an expansion to the health insurance program for the poor.

“I always look at everything that comes to my desk,” Scott said. “But the bottom line is, I’m gonna worry about all these taxpayers, this year the most important thing I can do is make sure we have the highest funding for K-12 education per pupil, make college more affordable, which we’ve been doing since I came into office, and keep cutting taxes. It’s not my agenda to take over a federal program that they started and then they stopped.”

Scott pointed to the Low Income Pool, a $2.2 billion fund for health care for the poor and the uninsured that the federal government is expected to end later this year.

“It’s a program they started and now they’re saying they’re not going to continue it,” Scott said. “So I’m concerned about expanding, having any relationship with the federal government, where they’re asking us, you expand some costs and we’ll pay part of it. How can you trust somebody like that when they have an existing health care program the same agency is walking away from it.”

Scott publicly backed an expansion to Medicaid in 2013, but backpedaled Monday. Scott was in Orlando to announce the creation for 40 new jobs at Cole Engineering Services Inc., a simulation company.

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WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by Florida Hospital and the Winter Park Health Foundation.

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