From domineering to dominos: In the last couple months, we've seen a number of Republican governors accede to the impervious logic and decency of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion. Arch-conservatives and Obama nemeses like Jan Brewer of Arizona and John Kasich of Ohio have signed on.
Now comes Florida's Republican Governor Rick Scott. His state led the failed 26-state lawsuit that South Dakota joined against the Affordable Care Act. Last year Governor Scott said the Medicaid expansion would be "devastating."
Yesterday, Gov. Scott saw the light:
Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday he wants to expand the state's Medicaid program to add 1 million lower-income patients to the rolls, endorsing a key provision of President Barack Obama's federal health care overhaul that the Republican governor fought for years.
...Scott reflected on the death of his mother, Esther, last fall. He recalled her struggle to raise five children with little money, and a constant worry of having health coverage for the family.
The multi-millionaire governor, who made his fortune as a health care executive, said no Floridians should endure the challenges his mother faced.
"No mother or father should despair over whether or not they can afford _ or access _ the health care their child needs," Scott said in a brief news conference Wednesday evening at the Governor's Mansion [John Kennedy, "Florida GOP Gov. Scot Endorses Medicaid Expansion," Governing, 2013.02.21].
Gov. Scott says he wants to give the Medicaid expansion a three-year trial period, during which Uncle Sam will pick 100% of the tab.
So, with Gov. Scott's flip, here's a map with the nationwide score:
That's 22 definitely in (including our North Dakota neighbors!), 13 definitely out.
Yet Governor Daugaard and arch-conservatives in the South Dakota Legislature continue to dilly-dally. Why wait, Dennis? The federal money's there! Staunch Republicans are giving you cover. You have a chance to boost your own efforts against infant mortality.
No one will revoke your GOP card for doing the right thing. Go grandstand on some other issue. Take the deal, Dennis. Help people now.