Scott agrees to expand Florida Medicaid program
Fox 4 Rising's Colleen Hogan breaks down the changes. Video by fox4now.comvideo
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida Gov. Rick Scott has announced that he will expand Medicaid to an estimated 900,000 additional Florida residents under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
The decision is a surprise since Scott has been a vocal critic of the Affordable Care Act.
"I want every Florida family to have access to high quality health care," Scott said.
The Republican governor said Wednesday that he will support a bill that would expire in three years. Scott entered politics in 2009 running national cable TV commercials criticizing the president's plan.
"I understand the need to have a quality health care safety net for every Florida family that can't afford their own health care," Scott said. "But we've got to do it at a price Floridians can afford."
The federal government will pay for the Medicaid expansion for the first three years and pay 90 percent after that.
Scott joins six other Republican governors who are also expanding Medicaid.
The decision came hours after federal officials announced they will approve Florida's request to privatize its existing Medicaid program if the state agrees to measure the quality of patient care.
Colleen Hogan, reporter