Posted: 5:13 a.m. Monday, July 2, 2012
By Stephanie Brown
The federal health care law gives the states some options, and Florida is opting out.
Two portions of the Affordable Care Act are voluntary under the Supreme Court’s recent ruling- Medicaid expansion and state-run insurance exchanges. Governor Rick Scott is joining a number of other Republican Governors in choosing not to implement these provisions.
Scott says the Medicaid expansion would cost Florida’s taxpayers $1.9 billion.
“We care about having a healthcare safety net for the vulnerable Floridians, but this is an expansion that just doesn’t make any sense,” he says.
The federal government will pay the increased Medicaid payments for the first three years the law is in effect, but the burden shifts to the state as time goes on. Scott says the program is already growing at a pace that’s much faster than the state’s general revenue, so an expansion would be “disastrous”.
“This is just a big government insurance program that does nothing to deal with the cost of healthcare,” he says.
So what would work? Scott says something more in line with a program he ran in.
“We need consumers to be able to choose the healthcare policy they want, you need to know what things cost, you need more competition, you should have a tax break as an individual just like a business so when you change jobs you don’t lose your healthcare so the preexisting condition will go away, and reward people for eating right, exercising, don’t smoke, that will actually reduce the cost of healthcare so more people can afford healthcare,” he says.
And to work towards that, Scott says the first step is repealing the current law. He supports Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s plan to do that if elected later this year, and will work “tirelessly” to make this happen.
Scott says Florida will comply with the mandatory portions of the law, although there is no action required before the general election and the full law does not take effect until January 1, 2014.