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Battle lines drawn in fight over medicaid expansion
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Battle lines drawn in fight over medicaid expansion

Battle lines drawn in fight over medicaid expansion
Photo Credit: Matt Augustine
Governor Rick Scott addresses students and faculty at Nease High School on February 1, 2013.

Battle lines drawn in fight over medicaid expansion

A Florida house panel voted against the expansion of medicaid on Monday, which sets up a battle between Democrats and Republicans as the first day of the legislative session kicks off Tuesday.  The panel voted 10-5 along party lines but not like you'd think.  It was, in fact, the Republicans who voted no on the expansion and the Democrats who backed Republican Governor Rick Scott.

"The House, of course, now has drawn a line in the sand saying they do not want the expansion," says reporter John Kennedy with our partner the Palm Beach Post.

Kennedy says Florida Republicans worry the federal government won't make good on its promise to pay for the first 3 years of expansion. Land O' Lakes Republican Richard Corcoran told the Palm Beach Post "you can't rely on someone giving us money when they're borrowing 50 cents on the dollar."

"To some degree, this sets up a political battle within the ruling Republicans in Tallahassee," says Kennedy.

Kennedy notes that Governor Scott abandoning his staunch opposition to medicaid expansion may be his way of setting himself up as more of a moderate in midterm elections, as his approval numbers have taken a hit.

The Florida Senate is expected to back the Governor in his push to expand Medicaid.

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