Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot
Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.
After years of vocal resistance, Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott, one of the country’s most outspoken critics of the Affordable Care Act, has acceded to one of the law’s core provisions, agreeing today to expand Medicaid coverage to 1.3 million Floridians.
Scott, a former healthcare executive, started an advocacy group to fight the health law before being elected governor, and has continued fighting the law ever since. He joined with other Republican governors to oppose the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, arguing that it would be too expensive for their states, and took his legal challenge all the way to the Supreme Court.
But this afternoon, the federal government granted Florida’s request for a conditional waiver to experiment with privatizing Medicaid in the state, and Scott quickly backed down on opposition to the expansion. He hastily called a press conference to formally announce the new policy this evening.
“I cannot in good conscious deny access to Floridians who need healthcare,” he told reporters. However, he warned that his plan will only go ahead if the federal government funds 100 percent of the Medicaid expansion for the first three years, which will act as a probationary trial period. After that, the expansion will need to be reauthorized.
The Medicaid expansion was central to the Affordable Care Act’s goal of providing universal healthcare to all Americans. It requires states to expand Medicaid coverage to anyone who makes 133 percent of the federal poverty level.
And second only to the individual mandate, it attracted vociferous Republican opposition, much of it led by Scott. So it was odd to hear him defending the expansion as a wise and fiscally prudent move in his press conference today. “This is not a white flag of surrender to government-run healthcare,” Scott explained. “We now have a Supreme Court decision and we have an election that says this is the law of the land.”
Scott, now one of only about a half-dozen Republican governors who have agreed to the expansion, could face a Tea Party backlash.
Scott’s privatization plan will expand on a five-county pilot program that has been “rife with problems,” the Miami Herald reported. Critics worry the for-profit providers are putting profits above coverage, and some doctors and health plans have dropped out of the pilot program.
Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter. Email him at email@example.com, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.More Alex Seitz-Wald.
Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China
Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti
“Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA
Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.
Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada
Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway
Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.
Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.
Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million
Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.
Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon
Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.
Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico
Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.
Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.