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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
EES
April 19, 2013 at 11:04 am

The guy in the whitehouse stated before he was ever elected he wanted to re distribute the wealth, and Obama care is just one way to get it done. We will soon be a third world country with many of the other countries that are broke and rioting. That is why home land security has purchased 1 billion, 100 million rounds of ammo. Try and buy ammo anywhere, Walmart is always out of stock. No one seems to realize what is actually going on in this country.

Bill Ragan
April 19, 2013 at 4:13 am

Well written COMRADE

Ted
April 18, 2013 at 7:23 pm

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. Thomas Jefferson

Richard
April 18, 2013 at 12:32 am

Just think a chip that can store all your medical records, banking information and everything else that matters about you and I. However, the downside is it will be the marl of the beast that the Bible speaks of and don't kid yourselves about that chip having GPS capability so one can be located anywhere on the planet.

Richard
April 18, 2013 at 12:29 am

Obamacare is about control of the population and forcing everyone to have a Chip implanted eventually. It may start out with a card to get us used to the idea but ultimately it will turn into the best thing for a cashless society.

Dave
April 17, 2013 at 7:15 pm

It's money from H ell. this person in the WH cares nothing about facts, nothing about what the people want, his concern is his arrogant self image to quote him "I won, deal with it"

Dave
April 17, 2013 at 7:13 pm

The pressure of the almighty dollar, the failure to realize states are going to end up paying more than what is implied, the total bill is a crock of bull, filled with lies, and strong arm tactics,, GD those who force it on us,,

Bob Cochran
April 17, 2013 at 2:02 pm

How can anyone believe that getting something for nothing is free?
If I wanted to be a socialist I would move to europe. And we see how well that is working. Where are my choices, where are the benefits to a longer and better life? I don't see any.
There will be a board to select who will get the care and who wouldn't. Old people look out, you're on the hit list in time and deeper in debt.

Ralph
April 16, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Gee Whiz....the federal Government is going to pay for it...manna from heaven no doubt.

Only morons cannot see that this will finish the job of bankrupting this country....

WE are going to have to pay for this with more back breaking taxes.

A blind man could see this fiasco coming.

Chris Kelly
April 16, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Oh Golly gee, I wonder if Jay McDonald....the liberal author of this article and just a few more from the far left is a democrat.....hmmmm more socialism. We should be out of debt in a booming economy like the Eighties. Jay, when your in a financial hole quit digging. sheesh....bankrate folks should be smarter than this. Debt + more Debt = generations of poverty + downgrade of debt again