Romano: We must be stupid to put up with Tallahassee's Medicaid shenanigans

Published April 9, 2015

Folks, it's time we face facts.

And the glut of evidence suggests that residents of this glorious state are now intrinsically linked by this one simple truth:

We are morons.

You, me and everyone else.

We are morons for allowing a handful of selfish, egotistical, politically driven hucksters to waste billions of our tax dollars while also playing games with people's lives.

Ah, but you say, how can each of us be personally responsible? After all, we didn't all vote for this legislator or that governor.

Sorry, but that excuse doesn't fly. In this case, the buck has to stop with us. It is our responsibility to shout so loud and so long that it becomes impossible for the reverse populists in Tallahassee to continue to ignore reality.

And the reality is by failing to address Medicaid expansion, our elected leaders are guilty of political malfeasance.

You might have heard Gov. Rick Scott has changed direction — once again — on this issue. He's back to singing the same tired tune as the sock puppets in the state House.

Scott is pushing intellectually dishonest arguments that clearly demonstrate just how dense he thinks the rest of us are.

Meanwhile, the governor and House leader Steve Crisafulli conveniently ignore little matters such as:

• In each of the past three years, polls have consistently shown a majority of Floridians support Medicaid expansion, with the favorable numbers ranging from 58 to 67 percent.

• A majority of the nation has expanded Medicaid, meaning federal dollars will be flowing away from Florida.

• Republican governors in 10 states have signed off on a variety of expansion plans, indicating middle ground can be easily found.

• Three years after vowing to come up with an alternative plan, Florida is still in the business of depending on the federal government to fund its unpaid hospital bills.

And what's truly remarkable is we have allowed it to happen.

We have allowed the critics to dither and dicker as the state flushes money away by treating uninsured residents in the emergency room, driving up medical and insurance costs for all of us.

The state Senate — with Republicans firmly in control — has a plan for expansion. Congressman, and Obamacare critic, David Jolly says it's time to find a solution. The Chamber of Commerce put out a policy paper urging expansion. Hospitals, voters and consumer advocacy groups are all in favor.

So who is against it?

A handful of power brokers in the state House who care only about pleasing their zealous benefactors. Virtually every argument they have employed during three legislative sessions has been discredited, so they now simply suggest the federal government cannot be trusted.

Think about that logic for a moment.

The federal government is trying to return billions of dollars in our own tax revenues that would create jobs and help needy residents stay healthier and more productive, and your state representatives are refusing to accept it for partisan reasons. They have also failed to come up with the alternative solution that they promised several years ago.

And now they're lecturing us about who we can trust?

Seriously, only a moron would buy that.