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Battle over Obamacare is over

By Jay MacDonald ·
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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April 09, 2013 at 9:37 pm

All this really is is a step in the direction of socialism/communism. Not trying to sound like some crazy tinfoil hat wearing redneck but giving the government the keys to health care is socialism by definition.

Yay. I for one welcome our new overlords.

jim g
April 09, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Wow, does anyone here have a college education. These preceding remarks are quite laughable, and the English is outrageous.

Don in Houston
April 09, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Some of the right-wing dinosaurs posting here would like to roll-back (or privatize) Social Security also. It's not gonna happen, folks. The Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare") is the law of the land. It's already been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, so get over it.

Frank W Brown
April 09, 2013 at 6:27 pm

The pressure is mounting little by little as the lo info voters are starting to catch on!

April 09, 2013 at 5:51 pm

The "feds have offered to pay for 100% of the cost".

This reporter acts as if Federal money is free money. Federal and state money all comes from tax money, which is the people money!

I can't tell if the reporter is making being sarcastic or he is just that naive.

April 09, 2013 at 1:02 pm

What a crock! The stuff is already starting to hit the fan, and there is a very good chance some, if not all of Obama Care, will be rolled-back.

Why do I say this? Because the 2700+ page bill - that includes references to other laws - was never read, and its many difficulties and nuances are only being rwalized, now that attempts are being made to implement Obama Care.

For example: Congress has repealed the tax upon medical devices. Why? It's pretty obvious: it's crippling to the businesses that produce such devices, and drives up costs.

And people are just beginning to figure out that they were lied to: Obama Care will cost this country well over $2 TRILLION more than were were told it would. EVERYONE'S premiums are going up (they have to, in order to subsidize the healthcare of others). People are finding they will NOT be able to keep their current insurance. Companies are opting to pay the penalty, rather than be forced to insure their employees. Some comapnies have cut full-time hours back to part time, to avoid having to pay for insurance for employees (otherwise, the cost is prohibitive to many businesses).

All this, and more, will bring great pressure upon Congress to "fix" or repeal much of Obama Care. As the ball really gets rolling, you are going to see more and more angry people - VOTERS!

It ain't over until Janet Napolitano (the fat lady) sings!

April 09, 2013 at 12:30 pm

very compelling..throw in the towel and have us all pay more for a big centralized program to cover the uninsured (undocumented?). seems like the name for the previous article would fit this one..'fishy insurance claims on the rise'. looking forward to the day that this program implodes, tort reform is enacted, and the immigration laws are enforced.

April 08, 2013 at 9:32 pm

I'm glad everyone thinks we should lie down and take the pounding we are ALL going to get... because, afterall, the battle is over according to this article. I wonder what other battles we should have ignored? Slavery? Women's Suffrage? Civil Rights? What pointless battles.

April 07, 2013 at 8:55 pm

So now this site edits remarks and would not let me post a negative remark.

April 06, 2013 at 12:00 am

PSSTTTT...ALL TAX BILLS MUST START IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES NOT THE SENATE...its UNCONSTITUITIONAL not to mention the citizenrt will be at the white house doors with oitchforks and torches when they see the $20,000.00 bill that comes out of their pay not the hiring package and its also taxed..Battle is over lol WE HAVE NOT YET BEGUN TO FIGHT!!! I WILL NEVER EVER SUGN FOR OBAMACARE I AM NOT A SUBJECT OF SHIEK BARRY!!!