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Battle over Obamacare is over

By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Posted: 10 am ET

We may be hopelessly conflicted on climate change, addicted as we are to that most practical of drugs, fossil fuel. We can't seem to get gun rights in our sights or to right-size our government. The din that yet surrounds both reproductive rights and same-sex unions continues, and it's as shrill as a bad 1980s hair band.

But the battle over Obamacare is over.

Last week, Florida Gov. Rick Scott officially threw in the towel, joining a half-dozen other Republican governors who've recently conceded after having spent the past three-plus years railing against President Barack Obama's landmark health care reform legislation, the Affordable Care Act of 2010 -- aka Obamacare.

What makes Scott's sudden change of heart more significant than that of, say, Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona, Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico or Gov. John Kasich of Ohio?

Two things: 1) Scott, a former hospital executive elected in 2010 as a tea party-backed reformer, led the 26-state constitutional challenge against health care reform that was largely rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court last summer; and 2), he caved on the one concession that the Supreme Court was willing to grant, which was to make health care reform's vast expansion of Medicaid optional for states, rather than mandatory.

Scott's pivot quickly incited his right-wing base, which labeled his change of heart a blatant samba to the political center in anticipation of a 2014 re-election catfight with former Gov. Charlie Crist, who recently switched from Republican to Democrat for much the same reason.

What the tea party failed to recognize is that Scott, who made his fortune as a bottom-line kinda guy, could hardly ignore the math. Florida has roughly 4 million uninsured, or about 1 in 5 residents. The proposed expansion of Medicaid would provide health insurance to more than 1 million of them, and the feds have offered to pay 100 percent of the cost to add them for the first three years beginning in 2014, sliding to 90 percent from 2020 on.

The expansion will not only save billions in "free" health care that hospitals provide by law to the uninsured (the expense of which is then passed on in the form of higher health insurance premiums), but it will also create roughly 71,000 jobs in the Sunshine State.

Sure, there are still a few GOP holdouts, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Texas governor and former presidential candidate Rick Perry. But faced with uninsured populations equal to or greater than Rick Scott's 20 percent or so, the governors may decide that practicality will have to overcome politics when the numbers have all been crunched.

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165 Comments
Tony
March 11, 2013 at 1:17 pm

I say - Repeal the non-affordable "Affordable Health Care Act" in its entirety. It has done its job - we now know who the RINO's are. Starting with McCain, Grapham, Criste, Bush, etc.
We need to run primaries against all of them.

There are some good provisions in the new act like 'Carrying health insurance across stateline and from job to job.' Each of these needs to be addressed one at a time on its own merits. There are mmany aspects such as forcing people to buy insurance and the stealing of Medicare monies along with the inclusion of Death Squad thinking that must be eliminated in its entirety

Victor G. Rivera
March 11, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Battle for Obamacare is Over! Maybe a battle, but not the war. Wars against a myriad of policy issues and unjust laws are being waged this day. Go tell Pro-Lifers, the war for the unborn is over, or go tell women the war for equality is over, etc.

McDonald, I wouldn't want you standing by my side when the heat of the battle or war is on. I would expect you to put up the white flag and surrender. Was it Stonewall Jackson who said, "Captain, never take counsel of your fears."

It is a sad day in America when Americans surrender freedom for social security. Americans have taken counsel of fears perpetrated by professional politicians. I'm not a sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, better-than-you, type person, just an American that still cherishes life, liberty, and property. Obamacare, like many social "security" policies and laws have chipped away at those divine principles, and tenets of our great land, but the war can never be over to secure them for posterity.

Politicians can surrender to Obamacare, as some Governors will, but that only means they have surrendered to fear. The fear of losing numbers, because after all, politics is a game of numbers...nothing more, nothing less.

Trust me, the war to repeal Obamacare is definitely not over...not by a long shot. So, go ahead and surrender, but for me this fight has just begun.

tom gladden
March 06, 2013 at 2:48 pm

mr mcdonald your an unabashed obam drooler. but it is wishful thinking obama care willbe overturned. forget the mid terms are comming up soon. no matter how much money is spent on obama care it willo be repe4aled so try to put a good spin out there but the conversation of words are not on your side watch and see and yes it is going to happen obama is unqualified and oall his and the fat first lady will be repealed or overturned. pissst the supreme court might do before the voters anyway

Cyndy
March 05, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Oh yeah obamacare should save tons of money for Florida. Oh wait, all those uninsureds that can't afford it are going to be put on Medicaid. Oh that's all right--the feds are paying for it. Oh wait. That's only for a couple of years. Oh oh. Hello tax increases.

CGB
March 04, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Hey Ryan, you must be young and in good health. You sure seem to be full of hate towards your fellow Americans. I hope you realize all you are going to do is die anyway.

So why do you waste you time on healthcare? You views are way out of line with the majority of Americans. We want a national health care plan for all. You are so jaded that you are thinking with your hate.

aime casavant
March 04, 2013 at 11:40 am

Looking at Universal Healthcare in a logical manner, we have always had it. Who do you know of - I'm talking to every American, who has been denied healthcare at an emergency room. None. The costs have been picked up by the insurance premiums other people pay. Its that simple.

With ObamaCare, at least more people (not all but more) will be paying those premiums, especially the young - instead of spending it on a new car or bigger flat screen television or a romp of a party for the weekend.

bk
March 01, 2013 at 3:05 pm

@larry, 11.48. "maybe he plays the race card better than we think." You mean the same way guys like you do when you talk about him doing it?

Ryan
March 01, 2013 at 10:01 am

This was established as the land of the free, not the land of the free stuff.

Ryan
March 01, 2013 at 10:00 am

This is going to be great! I can't wait till the world says "enough is enough" No more US debt. The liberals will be crying in the streets! "WHO MOVED MY FREE CHEESE?" Nothing in life is free, and it's about time we stop giving people free money. You want something? Go get it yourself!

Ryan
March 01, 2013 at 9:47 am

Oh, by the way, under Obama's watch, the debt has grown by about $33,000 per American worker. Ask Obama where your new Chevy Volt is. He has nothing to show for it. And at the current rate, Obama is over-spending $689 per month, per worker. When will you liberals finally say that big government isn't the solution? when we're demonstrating in the streets like Greece? You only have your own self to blame.