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By Modern Healthcare
Posted: March 2, 2013 - 12:01 am ET

The moral case for Medicaid expansion

“It is not a white flag of surrender,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said.

This was technically true: He did not wave a banner ... when he announced … that he wants Florida to expand Medicaid, a key piece of Obamacare.

But make no mistake: Scott, a tea party Republican and outspoken critic of the law, was laying down arms in defeat. The former hospital executive won his gubernatorial race in 2010 by campaigning against Obamacare, and as governor he fought the law in court. Even when the Supreme Court ruled against his position last year, he vowed defiance. The about-face by Scott … is a crucial validation of the president's signature initiative. In his announcement, Scott made a moral case for the Medicaid expansion as compelling as the law's proponents ever made.

“This country is the greatest in the world, and it's the greatest largely because of how we value the weakest among us,” said Scott. “It shouldn't depend on your ZIP code or your tax bracket. No mother or father should despair over whether they have access to high-quality healthcare for their sick child.” With federal funds covering the cost, “I cannot in good conscience deny Floridians that needed access to healthcare.”

—Washington Post



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