Sarasota News Leader

11/16/2012

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Sarasota News Leader OPINION November 16, 2012 His reasoning? Who cares? He long ago aban- doned any pretense at rationality with his shameless posturing. And, in so doing, he has further embarrassed the state that, according to every poll, regrets electing him governor in the first place. Fortunately, the blow- back from his latest misstep, including leg- islative leaders in his own party distancing themselves from him as they discussed how the state should pro- ceed with implement- ing the ACA, has compelled him to backtrack on his earlier, pugnacious obstinacy. Earlier this week, in an interview with the As- sociated Press, he stated that he wants "... to negotiate with the federal government" on im- plementation. Seriously? Negotiate? That's as ludicrous as Lord Cornwallis stating that he was ready to negotiate with George Washington following his walloping at York- town. Or the city of Atlanta stating its inten- tion to negotiate with Gen. Sherman after he had reduced the city to ashes. From the outset of the debate on healthcare reform, Scott has hitched his figurative wagon not to a lame horse, but to a dead one … and all Floridians are paying the price. The state already has lost hundreds of millions of dollars earmarked for early implementation of the ACA, funds gleefully pocketed by oth- er states thrilled by Scott's recalcitrance. And From the outset of the debate on healthcare reform, Scott has hitched his figurative wagon not to a lame horse, but to a dead one … and all Floridians are paying the price. Page 58 Scott's stubborn resistance to the expansion of Medicaid will cost the state another $28 bil- lion over the next several years, while Florida retains its reputation as the stingiest state in the country with its Medicaid program. Rick Scott has been, for almost his entire tenure in office, the most unpopular gov- ernor in Florida his- tory. (Indeed, he has been one of the most unpopular governors in recent U.S. history.) After using $75 million of his own money to leverage the Tea Party de- mentia of 2010 to secure his election, winning with fewer than 62,000 votes and the support of barely more than 23 percent of registered Florida voters, he had not even the semblance of a mandate to undertake his reckless and oppressive governance. His churlish foot-dragging has put Florida so far behind in the race to comply with the ACA that it likely will never catch up. Unless grant- ed an extension by the federal government, Florida will miss most, if not all, of the dead- lines rapidly approaching. It did not have to be this way. But Scott's well- earned reputation as a feckless dilettante has been the primary cause of our hopeless com- pliance shortfall. One can only hope that, in 2014, outraged vot- ers will rise up to right their earlier wrong … and that Scott's painful, inept turn as governor will be put to a merciful end. %

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