Florida Gov. Rick Scott made the rounds on cable news channels explaining why he has become one of the first of the nation's Republican governors to opt out of a federally funded expansion of state Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, a move made possible without penalty by the Supreme Court's decision last week.
"It's not free. You're still paying it. Florida taxpayers are paying federal taxes," said Scott. "The federal government is only paying all of it for three years, then Florida taxpayers are going to be on the hook."
Medicaid currently covers more than 3 million of Florida's poorest people. The expansion would cover almost a million more by 2014, and five million more by the 2020 at a cost, estimates the governor, of almost $2 billion eventually.
Federal money would have paid for 100 percent of the costs for the first three years, and 90 percent for the following three.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz believes the governor's opting out of expanding Medicaid may cost Florida taxpayers more in the long run.
"Those folks are still going to use the emergency room as their primary access point for health care, and those costs are going to be shifted for all of us," said Wasserman Schultz.