It's not exactly earth shattering that Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is upset with Governor Rick Scott's decision to support Medicaid expansion under the 2010 federal health care reform law. When it comes to Florida Republicans who still have major issues with the Affordable Care Act, he can get behind a long line.
But what is surprising is how the former Polk County Congressman and potential future gubernatorial candidate keeps on shouting from the rooftops about how unhappy he is about the possibility (which still must be ratified by the state Legislature).
Under the auspices of the RPOF, Putnam issued out a press release yesterday that culled paragraphs from different news agencies stories quoting Putnam from saying why Medicaid expansion would be bad for Florida.
Naturally this is eliciting more talk that Putnam could be thinking about challenging Scott in 2014, to which we say: why wouldn't he? Actually there are sound reasons why a Republican wouldn't challenge the gov. in 2014 - say $73 million of them? That's what Scott spent to get elected in 2010. But the governor is unpopular and has been for most of his 2 years plus in office. Staring at a possible party loss in 2014, why wouldn't an ambitious Republican think about the future being now? Putnam has never discounted the idea that he wants to run for governor in Florida - it just wasn't supposed to be now. But opportunity - in the form of a serious policy dispute - could have just knocked on his door.
Meanwhile, the fact of the matter is that Medicaid expansion will bring affordable health care to approximately a million people in this state who don't have any, as advocates for reform argued in a press conference in St. Petersburg.
The sequester is just days away from kicking in, and yesterday the Obama administration released a set of scary numbers about how the budget cuts would affect Florida.
There's an invitation only summit on improving Cuba-U.S. relations scheduled for next month in Tampa.
And congratulations to our pal Alex Zayas of the Tampa Bay Times, who yesterday won the USC Annenberg’s 2013 Selden Ring Award for investigative reporting for her series on uncovering abuse at unlicensed religious children's homes called "In God's Name."