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Atwater: wait to expand Medicaid, forgo the money

Jeff Atwater may not be calling everyone's attention to his opposition to Gov. Rick Scott's plan to expand Medicaid in Florida as Adam Putnam has, but the Republican chief financial officer is on the same page.

"This is going to obligate us to either in future years to a legislature that will significantly change the tax code or this takes (away from) education dollars, transportation dollars and everything else," Atwater told the Tampa Bay Times editorial board today. "I look at the general revenue stream. It will not carry this. It's just that simple."

Florida would be better off watching to see how it plays out for at least a couple years — even if it means forgoing 100 percent federal funding of the expansion — before plunging ahead without more questions answered and alternative options developed.

"I understand all the compassion. I'll put my record up against anybody when I was in the Legislature," he told the editorial board, which agrees with Gov. Scott that expanding Medicaid makes the most sense for Florida.

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