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Adam Putnam on Rick Scott: Expanding Medicaid for 3 years 'naive'

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam openly bashed Gov. Rick Scott's call to expand Medicaid under the federal health care law, first at a Thursday appearance at the Florida Retail Federation and again in an interview.

"It is naive at best to think that you would enroll 1 million people in three years and then decide to walk away from the program," he said in an interview, referring to Scott's proposal to undo the expansion if the federal government withdraws money or if the Legislature chooses not to renew it.

Without using Scott's name, Putnam implied Scott made his decision for political reasons.

"I think we all have an obligation to look beyond the window of our own time in public life and think about the longterm impact of these policies in Florida," he said.

Is Putnam's outspokenness on this issue a sign of a 2014 primary challenge? He would not say for sure. "This isn't a conversation about politics or campaigns. This is a question about what the most responsible fiscal policy for Florida is."

We pressed again. "This is a conversation about healthcare and healthcare costs. It's not a conversation about individuals or personalities."

Putnam said the state's current safety net already provides enough care for the neediest families.

"I've seen how issues like this explode in cost once they becone an accepted part of policy. And it's just simply not realistic to think you would enroll over 1 million new people into a program that you would then end in three years," he said. "History would suggest otherwise." 

Comments

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Can't take anymore

Is the boyish redheaded Secretary of Watermelons and Tomatoes taking a shot at our beloved Governor? Even a loyal Republican team player like Adam can plainly see that Scott's popularity with Florida voters is lower than that of foot fungus. As such, there is very likely going to be an opening for a replacement in after a 2014 Republican primary fight. Adam certainly doesn't want Scott to leave a Medicaid finance mess for some future governor to have to fix. Have no doubt he sees himself as that future governor.

Geo Blumel

Gov Scott's record up to this awful decision to expand Medicaid was exemplary. If Putnam is commenting to further his political ambitions then that would be typical of a career pol. But he is right, of course, in his arguments against the Scott decision. Scott was vehemently against it before he was for it. I call it betrayal.

Iratus

Scott's record "exemplary"?? Yes, it is in destroying safeguards for clean and adequate drinking water, for allowing uncontrolled growth and sprawl with no consideration of road traffic or schools, etc., etc. And, for gutting agencies and water management districts of experienced, knowledgeable employees who were doing a decent job. Then, putting all of his special interest friends who have no training or experience in these fields, in charge.
He is more than happy to hand out lucrative contracts and laws to his "friends". Let's just do away with all taxes and medical aid and see what happens to Florida's economy with no schools, roads, bridges collapsing, libraries, agencies, state parks, etc. closing down. And, the sick, lame and elderly dying in the streets. Republican paradise!! And, if you don't think so, pay attention to who is voting for what NOT what you hear.

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