Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott explained his decision to keep his state out of the healthcare reform law’s Medicaid expansion Thursday, saying his focus should be on jobs.
“The most important thing is working on getting everybody a job,” Scott told CBS’ “This Morning."
“We have 800,000 people out of work, but we’ve had a drop in unemployment, that’s the most important thing we can do,” Scott said, according to Politico
Obamacare required states to expand Medicaid or face a cutback in federal funding. But the Supreme Court ruled last week that the federal government can’t punish states that refuse to adopt Obamacare’s Medicaid eligibility rules.
Medicaid is expanding so fast that it’s taking money away from education, Scott said. “Medicaid is growing at 3.5 times our general revenue. So it’s making it difficult to fund our K-through-12 education.
“If you talk to the citizens, they want a job, they want to make sure their kids can get a great education. Every time we expand Medicaid, we make it more difficult to fund our education system, which is very important to our citizens.”
Medicaid expansion also is making it more difficult for Scott to work on creating jobs, he said.
“That’s what I’m focused on, getting our citizens jobs to afford insurance. This expansion will cost the federal government, which is our tax money, and the state a lot of money. We can’t afford it.”
Scott said the Medicaid expansion is similar to President Barack Obama’s stimulus program. “They put money into the education system and then took it away, and our schools relied on it,” he said. “I don’t want to do the same thing to our citizens.”
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