Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Bill Day’s latest: Rick Scott, the Sopranos and underwater Floridians

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Gov. Rick Scott, in his latest tirade against the Obama administration, compares the federal government to a famous fictional organized crime family.

“This is the Sopranos,” Scott said during an interview with Fox News. “They’re using bullying tactics to attack our state. It’s wrong. It’s outrageous … they’re not worried about poor.”

In the eyes of editorial cartoonist Bill Day, what is truly outrageous is Scott’s intention to sue the federal government for withholding the federal Low Income Pool – the $1 billion in funds to help hospitals who care for low-income patients.

And how the governor’s stubbornness will affect thousands of families.

Because he won’t expand Medicaid, Scott says Florida is being held hostage. Yet Scott remains opposed to a Florida Senate plan to provide health insurance for more than 800,000 uninsured Floridians.

What makes it most unfortunate – for Floridians – is that this situation was a long time coming.

The feds warned Scott and the state leaders for more than a year the program was ending, all while recommending federal money for purchasing health insurance directly for patients is a more efficient way to use the money than paying hospitals for care.

Did they listen? You be the judge.

Now, Republican lawmakers in the Legislature split on accepting Medicaid expansion funds: the Florida Senate wants to accept, with the House steadfastly opposed.

Of course, it is unclear if Scott actually will follow through with this threat of court action. The governor’s office reports it is still working with Attorney General Pam Bondi to draft a complaint.

Meanwhile, nearly one million of the state’s at-risk citizens remain underwater – weighted down by the cement shoes of Scott’s brinkmanship.

And this is not TV; it’s real life.

BILL DAY SOPRANOS

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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