Former Florida governor Jeb Bush recently huddled with Republican state legislators and urged them to oppose an expansion of the state’s Medicaid program. His position put him at odds with incumbent Republican governor Rick Scott, who announced on Wednesday that he’d expand Florida’s enrollment.
According to several Florida GOP insiders, Bush met with a group of lawmakers on February 14 at the state capitol. The focus of his Tallahassee visit — his first in two years — was education reform. But during a closed-door question-and-answer session in a Republican office, he was asked about Medicaid.
“He was there to talk about education, but when he was asked about Medicaid, it was clear where he stood,” says a second source. “He’s a policy guy, and much of what he said was about that. He thinks Republicans should counter” an expansion.
Sources close to Bush don’t expect the popular former governor to rally against Scott in the coming weeks, since he usually avoids becoming involved in partisan debates and intra-party battles. But within the upper echelons of Florida Republican politics, his opposition to Medicaid expansion is well known, and has been privately cited by Scott’s critics, who hope to kill the governor’s proposal in the legislature.
Bush, the brother of former president George W. Bush and a potential 2016 presidential candidate, is currently abroad and was unavailable to comment.