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Rick Scott Says 'No' to Implementing Federal Health Care Law

It's a dramatic about-face.

For weeks, Governor Scott said he'd abide by whatever ruling the Supreme Court handed down on health care reform, but now that the law's been upheld, the governor's refusing to immediately put it into effect.

"If you implement it, rates are going to go up," Scott said. "It just, it doesn't work, I mean, we've already seen rates go up because of this. We've got to rely, look, here's what works - what works is, give individuals the choice. Let them buy the insurance they want to buy; don't tell them what insurance they need to buy."

Critics say nothing could be further from the truth - the statewide insurance exchange required by the law would actually give Floridians more options. But on that and a handful of other mandates, Scott won't budge until well after the November election.

Once again, the rift between the White House and the Governor's Mansion couldn't be greater, and even though Scott arguably wouldn't be here if not for his early opposition to health care reform, his decision not to implement it may have more to do with presidential politics.

By refusing to implement health care reform, the governor's also sending his fellow republicans a message - It's critical to elect Mitt Romney and repeal health care reform, a fight that may well come down to winning Florida's 29 electoral votes.

"My name is Sam and I'm calling on behalf of the Republican Party of Florida."

GOP organizers are already taking that message to voters. No big surprise there, but so, too, are democrats.

Florida Democratic Party Executive Director Scott Arcenaux says the governor's stance is also bound to mobilize democrats and even independents to vote for President Obama.

"I think that's something that every Floridian's going to wake up to and say, 'what is this guy doing? Why is he putting his Tea Party agenda ahead of the health care of Floridians?' it's outrageous, and we're going to call on him from now until election day to stop," Arcenaux said.

So, while Rick Scott may not be on the ballot, both parties want the governor to be on voters' minds, albeit for different reasons.

Scott is a former healthcare executive. He build his political career in part on his vocal opposition to health care reform.


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