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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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February 27, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Skip... I'm a Physician too... The Major Insurance Companies have been paying me less than 1/2 of my fees for years. I didn't complained then; therefore, I won't now.

February 27, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Laugh it up, Obama worshipers. This country is going right down the drain and you're gloating about it. This isn't about whose guy won. It's about the reality that we don't have the money to to enact "social justice." It's the very thing people like Ayn Rand warned us about. The government will eventually have control over aspect of our lives, and NONE of us will truly prosper. R.I.P. United States.

February 27, 2013 at 10:38 pm


February 27, 2013 at 10:36 pm

I am a physician, and the oboma care only pays us 1/2 of our fees. How would you like it if you made $20 / hr and now your only going to make $10.?

February 27, 2013 at 10:08 pm

my wife is (64) unable to work she has rhumatoid arthritis and has had it since 2006 she has a stomach problem that pre4vents her from taking medicine she was using lidoderm patches which helped here with pain but the new obamba care has taken her right to this medicine and which i will now have to pay $479 monthly we cannot afford this and yet the president says we can well mr president lend me a few thousand dollars that you are taking from the hard working citizens and help me with this terrible problem

February 27, 2013 at 9:59 pm

1. Response to Dave... You know that US Congress has mandated USPO (United States Post Office)pay in advance billion of dollars into a retirement program for its workers. The Post Office is a program (1 Program that works for us all) that works for rural... It's working if a combat soldier can send a letter to his Mother, Wife or family.

2. Response to Colette... I believe nobody close (family or friend) to you ever had Cancer. I loss a Brother to Cancer and he could not get Government help or any help to pay his medical bills; therefore, his wife was put into the streets after his death. My Brother was Management for the New Jersey Transit... the Cancer forced him OUT and Pre-existing conditions prevented him from getting other coverage.

Obamacare helps Hospials doors remain open in our Community when uninsured Americans show-up in emergency rooms. If you have a solution... POST IT.

I got it... Obamacare may not be perfect... but... its step. If you think uninsured Amerians will heal themselves... I understand your position... if not... They will make all of us pay one way or another. ....

February 27, 2013 at 9:58 pm

You are Exactly Right Chris Obamacare will Destoy this Country, That is what you get from Communists. As far as i am Concerned Rick Scott can Start looking for a new Job along with the other Republicons.

February 27, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Shame on y'all for not wanting to work hard your whole life so Obama can raise your taxes to pay for all his stupid ideas to take care of the people who won't work. I hope someone with a brain can fix all the things Obama has and will mess up while he is in office. All the working man is going to do is whine and cry about it while the burden falls on us (kinda the way Obama whines and cries and points his finger at the republicans until they fold because they are scared they won't get re-elected). The Republicans need to get smart and figure out they are going to be to blame also when this country goes straight to hell because we are geting taxed at 70%. Let's all quit our jobs and let Obama figure out how to pay for everything then. He doesn't care anyway because he is set up for life. Oh yeah, please take our guns also so that only the criminals will have guns(you better believe they will). I am sure I have offended some people that my taxes pay their bills.

Sharon Brown
February 27, 2013 at 9:42 pm

I am a 66 year old lady,since 1999 was declared disabled by Social Security.When I turned 66 in 2012,I got a letter from Social Security saying that since I hadn't took advantage of my free back to work to work tickets and the fact that I was the full retirement age of 66,that thats the way this would be.In the 1st place I didn't know,there was anything called back to work tickets.But,needless to say,I'm on Medicare.About 2 to 3 weeks ago,our President,said we,speaking of whom ever is helping him on the cuts,said they had to take care of our older citizens,because that was the right thing to do.running a close second,is keeping a roof over our head,foodI'm raising my grandson,whose(5),he has to be on Tenncare-Medicaid.I'm due to have a mammogram.I have cysts in both breast.So according,to some of these quotes I've,I might not have long to live.And I had all the trust I could have in John Bainer,Speaker of the House.Treat Americans like we are human beings.In the name of our Father Jesus Christ Amen

February 27, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Wait until 2014 when all of Obamacares taxes kickin and everyones paychecks shrink. Then people will connect with the reality of this Socialist program. Remember this statement next year, it will them come clear to everyone. The other elements of this program will not be felt until many doctors stop practicing and new doctor's only go into specialized medicine. Your family practicioner will be substituted by a nurse practicioner. Additionally, your deductibles will continue to increase to double what they are now.