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by Cal Thomas
Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) was one of those tea party stars whom voters believed had the courage of his convictions when he promised, as recently as last summer, to block The Affordable Care Act in his state. But last week, writes the
Scott said, "I think this is a common-sense solution to dealing with this for the next three years where it will give us the time to think about how we can improve the system." Sounding like a Democrat, he added that the state is obligated to help "the poorest and weakest among us." No, governor, charities and religious bodies are obligated to help the weak and poor. State and federal governments have no such obligation. To claim they do empowers bureaucrats and politicians who are having a difficult enough time fulfilling their constitutional responsibilities. It also undermines the work ethic.
After (borrowed) federal money runs out in three years, Florida will be expected to kick in some cash and carry on with the funding. Scott says his commitment is only for those three years, but as Ronald Reagan once wryly observed, "...a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!"
Scott, whose favorability rating was 36 percent in a
Scott is a former health care executive. The health care industry has spent millions lobbying to influence health care reform legislation, including
Scott has also said nothing in several months about illegal immigration. He once pledged to back an Arizona-style immigration law that would require police to check the legal status of people they suspected were illegal. He has since backed away from this pledge.
Slade O'Brien, the Florida director of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity, told the Sentinel he was "flabbergasted" by Scott's decision, saying it went beyond even his budget proposal that didn't cut spending and the teacher pay raises. "For the governor to reverse that position, I felt incredibly shocked and so did many of his base," he said.
A few Republican governors have turned down federal money to expand
As for Gov. Scott's turnabout, a paraphrase of the wisdom Forest Gump's momma gave him might fit: Politicians are like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're going to get until after they're elected.
Governor Scott to Voters: Never Mind | Politics