Yesterday, Rick Scott, Florida’s Republican governor, announced that he now supports implementing the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. Ezra sees this as a sign that Republicans are making peace with Obamacare:
The health-care law goes into effect next year, and implementation is sure to be rocky — all the more so because so many states have left the bulk of the work up to the federal government. But so long as Obamacare is accepted as the law of the land, and repeal is dismissed by most Republicans as little more than a pleasant fantasy, then a constructive process can begin in which Republicans seize on problems with the law as an opportunity to reform the reforms — and through that process, begin to buy into the new system. That’s how the fight over Obamacare ends, and the work of health-care reform continues.
Yglesias thinks Scott’s new position is the right one:
The way the Medicaid expansion works is that the federal government will foot over 90 percent of the tab for states that cover more patients. Meanwhile, residents of states that don’t expand Medicaid don’t gain any special exemption from the taxes that fund the program. So even if you think the expansion is deeply unwise, it’s a simple collective action issue.
Weigel considers the politics of Scott’s decision:
He knows full well that the Republican-run legislature has to sign off on the plan. Either legislators affirm it, and help out Scott in 2014, or they buck him, and make Scott seem — for the first time in recorded history — like a centrist. When Charlie Crist has joined the Democratic Party and beats you like a rug in early polls, that’s a decent menu of choices!