No compromise in sight, health care deal likely dead
Despite promises they would work toward middle ground, House and Senate leaders have been unable to reach agreement on health care reform and the session has only two days left. Both sides rejected Medicaid expansion but have very different ideas about what should be done instead.
An excerpt from the story in Thursday's paper:
While Gov. Rick Scott early on endorsed a plan to expand Medicaid, and subsequently the federally funded alternative offered by the Senate, House leaders always were an impediment. House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, made it clear on Day 1 of the 60-day lawmaking session when he called Medicaid expansion a "social experiment" that is doomed to fail.
"I believe it crossed the line of the proper role of government," Weatherford said in his opening day speech to lawmakers. "Florida should not buy it."
Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, said the speech painted Weatherford into a corner. Worse yet, he brought the Republican caucus with him. Fasano was the lone GOP House member to vote to accept federal money.
Now no one wants to cave, even though taking the money should be a no-brainer, Fasano said, noting that the health expansion would be 100 percent federally funded for the first three years.
As a result, the Capitol resembles a dysfunctional family. Depending on who you ask, the older brother Senate is either wiser or unreasonable. The younger brother House is either innovative or unrealistic.
Gov. Rick Scott is the absent father.