GOP Governors Are Coming Around on ObamaCare

How lobbying, politics are making them change their tune
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2013 7:57 AM CST
GOP Governors Are Coming Around on ObamaCare
Rick Scott, one of ObamaCare's most ardent critics, changed his tune this week.   (AP Photo/J Pat Carter, File)

Rick Scott's stunning about-face on expanding Medicaid in Florida made him the seventh Republican governor to back the ObamaCare provision, a trend delighting the law's supporters, the New York Times observes today. "I think this means the dominoes are falling," says the head of one consumer group. Why the change? In part it might be politics. Obama won all but two of the states that have flipped in November. But the other major factor is a major health industry lobbying campaign.

Hospitals in particular accepted Medicaid payment cuts because they thought the expanded system would mean more paying customers. So hospital associations have released a stream of reports arguing that the benefits of the switch outweigh the costs—one of which was reportedly a "major watershed moment" in convincing Ohio to swap. Some religious leaders have applied pressure as well. But there are still holdouts; Rick Perry, for instance, has said Texas won't follow others in "scrambling to grab every tax dollar they can." (More Medicaid stories.)

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