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Florida Medicaid switcheroo: Rick Scott backs down

One of the Affordable Care Act's fiercest critics, Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) has reversed courses and is dropping his opposition to expanding Medicaid.

Republican Governor Rick Scott of Florida has been one of the fiercest critics of President Obama's Affordable Care Act. But yesterday, Scott reversed course on a big part of the new law, dropping his opposition to expanding health care for the poor in his state. Scott said he'll expand medicaid for three years -- that's when federal startup funding expires.

While the announcement is sure to make political ripples, it is also a big win for Florida hospitals – who currently absorb most of the costs that uninsured patients incur.

Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human services granted Florida a waiver to allow the state to expand its pilot Medicaid privatization program. Florida will seek a third-party vendor to manage the program. Governor Scott has argued privatization will help control Medicaid costs, which make up about a quarter of the state's budget.

To hear more about Florida's new health reforms, click on the audio player above.

About the author

Dan Gorenstein is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Health Desk. You can follow him on Twitter @dmgorenstein.
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