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Wasserman Schultz blasts Scott, GOP 'extremism' on Medicaid

Published May 2, 2013

It wasn't the Tallahassee homecoming Debbie Wasserman Schultz had hoped for.

The Broward County congresswoman and Democratic national chairman, who spent 15 years in the state Legislature, stood with Senate Democrats Wednesday in criticizing the House Republican leadership for its opposition to Medicaid expansion under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Wasserman Schultz was particularly critical of Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who publicly endorsed Medicaid expansion in February but has not been aggressively pushing House members to approve it. By coincidence, she said, she passed Scott in a Capitol hallway and said hello.

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"Gov. Scott was elected to lead this state," Wasserman Schultz said. "If he has a particularly strongly held view -- and he says he supports the acceptance of federal dollars to cover a million Floridians -- it seems to me he's sitting on the sidelines trying to have his cake and eat it too. You can't have it both ways ... You don't get to take credit for something you didn't go down swinging on."

She said Republicans in the House are acting like "spoiled children" on Medicaid, and noted that the health care law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and its champion, President Barack Obama, won re-election. "Because they didn't get their way, they're not going to let anyone benefit from this outcome. It's irresponsible," she said. The long-time congresswoman also called out House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, whose family once relied on Medicaid for health care assistance.

"Will Weatherford should know better," she said.