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News

Happytown: Rick Scott's Medicaid about-face

Governor's announcement that he's expanding Medicaid surprises and disappoints his supporters

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"I think we should complete our trial before we make a verdict," Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, told the Associated Press.

But much of the reaction to Scott's big flip-flop was not quite as muted. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam called the governor's decision "extremely disappointing," joining a chorus of other small-government conservatives like Attorney General Pam Bondi, House Speaker Will Weatherford and even father figure Jeb Bush.

On the left, Democrats ranged from skeptical to elated about the Medicaid decision. Activist group Health Care for Florida Now released a statement saying that its pro-Obamacare coalition was "pleased" with the decision. Florida House Democratic leader Perry Thurston, D-Plantation, joked to the AP that, "We may invite [Scott] to come and join the party." Newly Democratic former (and possible future) governor Charlie Crist – no stranger to position-hopping himself – recoiled aloud to the Florida Current that he wasn't buying it.

"There's quite a metamorphosis going on and I don't think anyone is fooled by it," Crist said. "Maybe soon he'll become an advocate for high-speed rail. Who knows?"

Meanwhile, closer to home, the decision didn't seem to affect Universal Orlando's position on Obamacare. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the theme park will cease offering (limited) health insurance to its part-time employees, because the ACA mandates that said insurance actually be worth something, and the insurance currently proffered by Universal caps out its coverage at $5,000 (or, one night in the hospital) annually. So maybe Harry Potter changed Rick Scott's mind? Magical.

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