Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Romano: On Medicaid, Arizona gives Florida heartburn

A (fake) conversation Friday morning at the governor's office in Tallahassee:

Aide: Sir, we have a bit of a problem.

Gov. Scott: Just tell Lt. Gov. Carroll the letter of recommendation is in the mail.

Aide: No sir, this is something else.

Gov. Scott: (Sighs.)

Aide: It seems the Arizona Legislature approved Medicaid expansion on Thursday.

Gov. Scott: That's it? That's today's crisis? How can that possibly be my problem?

Aide: Well, people may point out that Arizona's situation is quite similar to what we have in Florida. And I'm afraid they might start asking how Arizona figured out a way to provide health care when Florida did not.

Gov. Scott: Simple. Our state House is full of heartless ideologues. Not my problem.

Aide: Yes, sir, except the Arizona Legislature was also ideologically opposed to the idea.

Gov. Scott: So what happened?

Aide: From what we're hearing, Gov. Jan Brewer is being hailed as a leader for defying the tea party and persuading fellow Republicans to change their minds. The national media keeps mentioning that you and Gov. Brewer were once the loudest critics of the Affordable Care Act.

Gov. Scott: (Indistinct muttering.)

Aide: Beg your pardon, sir?

Gov. Scott: (Shouting) How? How did she do it?

Aide: It appears she used her clout.

Gov. Scott: And what's that supposed to mean?

Aide: No offense, sir, but she got in front of the issue. She traveled the state campaigning for Medicaid expansion, and put together a coalition of business groups and medical professionals in favor of it. Basically, she put pressure on the Legislature.

Gov. Scott: Ha! The Chamber of Commerce and Florida Hospital Association were in favor of it here, and that didn't persuade the House.

Aide: Didn't persuade them in Arizona, either. So Gov. Brewer vowed to veto any legislation that came across her desk until the Legislature fixed health care.

Gov. Scott: (Begins rubbing his eyes.)

Aide: Yes, sir, she came out looking quite heroic.

Gov. Scott: Well, our legislative session has been over for more than a month. This is spilled milk. We just say it's the House speaker's fault, and there's nothing we can do about it at this point.

Aide: Actually, sir, the Arizona Legislature was also adjourned. Gov. Brewer called them in for a special session.

Gov. Scott: Fantastic … so what am I supposed to do now?

Aide: Not to be flippant, sir, but perhaps we could fix this?

Gov. Scott: A conservative governor with a Republican Legislature going overtime to fight for a key component of Obamacare?

Aide: It sounds crazy, I know, but it did work in Arizona. And the Republican governor in Michigan is still putting pressure on his Legislature to accept federal money.

Gov. Scott: Are you suggesting it's going to be my fault if there are 1 million uninsured Floridians next year?

Aide: I wouldn't exactly say it's your fault.

Gov. Scott: What would you say?

Aide: Well, some might argue, as governor, it is your responsibility.

Gov. Scott: I'm starting to feel queasy.

Aide: Not to worry, sir, you have excellent health insurance.

Romano: On Medicaid, Arizona gives Florida heartburn 06/15/13 [Last modified: Saturday, June 15, 2013 8:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)


    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.