MIAMI Feb 20 Florida Governor Rick Scott backed
a limited expansion of healthcare coverage for the poor on
Wednesday, joining six other Republican governors who have
agreed to the move under President Barack Obama's landmark
Scott, a vocal critic of the law known as Obamacare who had
balked at expanding Medicaid, only agreed to the expansion after
the federal government granted Florida a conditional waiver to
privatize Medicaid statewide.
Scott said in a statement that he would only agree to the
expansion for three years, however, while the federal government
picks up all the costs.
"We will support a three year expansion of our Medicaid
program under the new healthcare law, as long as the federal
government meets their commitment to pay 100 percent of the cost
during this time. This legislation would sunset after three
years and need to be reauthorized," the statement said.
Scott's conditional endorsement of an expanded Medicaid
program in Florida, a move that officials have said could add at
least 1 million people to the state's Medicaid rolls, must still
be approved by the Florida Legislature.
(Reporting by Tom Brown; editing by Andrew Hay)