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Gov. Scott’s Health Law in Florida: No Medicaid Expansion, No Insurance Exchange

| July 2, 2012

Gov rick scott unpopular

Not exactly Gov. Popular.

Despite having the second-highest proportion of uninsured non-elderly people in the nation (one in four Floridian under age 65 is uninsured), Florida will opt out of spending about $2 billion more to expand Medicaid, and won’t build insurance exchanges, another optional part of the federal health care law, Gov. Rick Scott’s office said Sunday.

The Supreme Court ruling last week upholding the massive health care spending overhaul also specifically said the federal government can’t coerce states into expanding Medicaid, as the law requires, by withholding Medicaid money for parts of the program already in existence.

Scott said as recently as Friday that he wasn’t sure whether Florida would opt out of expanding Medicaid, but said in a statement late Sunday that the Medicaid expansion is “inconsistent with his mission to grow jobs for Floridians.”

Scott also noted that the Affordable Care Act, the central piece of legislation pushed by the Obama administration, doesn’t take effect until 2014 and nothing in it is required of states before the 2012 general election, when Republicans hope to unseat President Obama. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has pledged to repeal the act.

Scott also said, however, that Florida will follow the law and for any part of it that does require the state to do something, Florida will do it.

Republicans, who have been in control of the state for more than a decade, have repeatedly said that Florida can’t afford what it spends now on health care for the poor, and the large expansion required by the bill would also be problematic.

Turning down the expansion of Medicaid means turning away most of the money to pay for it. Washington would have picked up 90 percent of the cost, and all of it in the first couple years. But even that small state portion of new spending would be too much, Scott concluded.

Scott also noted that some families already are covered in Florida at the 133 percent of poverty level that the new law calls on states to do – and Florida has a children’s health insurance program, KidCare, which prevents children whose families sign up from going without health coverage. Still, 16.2 percent of Florida’s children are without health insurance, according to the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation, a health care-related think tank. That’s also the second-highest rate of uninsured children in the nation.

By far the lowest rate of uninsured is in Massachusetts, where just 3.4 percent of children were uninsured by the end of 2010, and 5.7 percent of the non-elderly population as a whole was uninsured. Massachusetts is benefiting from the insurance mandate–very similar to the one Congress enacted in 2010–that then-Gov. Mitt Romney enacted in 2006. Romney, the Republican nominee for president, is now opposed to that kind of reform if applied through the federal government.

Another part of the health care law gives Florida the flexibility to opt out of building insurance “exchanges” that Washington billed as a way of helping residents find health coverage. Scott said it would cost too much.

“Floridians are interested in jobs and economic growth, a quality education for their children, and keeping the cost of living low,” Scott said in a statement. “Neither of these major provisions in ObamaCare will achieve those goals, and since Florida is legally allowed to opt out, that’s the right decision for our citizens.”

Scott said the answer to higher health care costs is more accountability for medical providers and incentives for people to stay healthy.

–News Service of Florida and FlaglerLive

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19 Responses for “Gov. Scott’s Health Law in Florida: No Medicaid Expansion, No Insurance Exchange”

  1. Johnny Taxpayer says:

    Imagine that. A Governor doing exactly what he said he would do during the campaign.

  2. Kip Durocher says:

    “glow” scott took “the 5th” more times than Al Capone.
    our dishonorable governor took the 5th 75 times.
    Floridians need to start watching this man real careful or things are gonna disappear.
    He is going to rape Florida as he did rape the public treasury at Columbia/HCA.
    He wants to take Florida Forever lands and sell them to “other users” (read friends, partners and supporters).
    He just pushed a law thru granting him the powers that the Florida Supreme Court just ruled he did not have.
    He wastes millions suing his enemies and defending his fascist laws in the courts ~ all on your dime!
    “glow” scott is a rotter to his very core.
    Should Floridians take him to court for malfeasance in public office? It is a felony.
    Probably yes.

    • Samantha says:

      How in the world did this guy even get elected? He is an obvious liar and not equipped to function as the manager of a fast food restaurant let alone the leader of our state. He has refused to help the people of the state of FL at each and every turn. Are people just ignorant or just plain stupid and mean?

  3. Will says:

    Just another item in context. This links to a short video from Florida Hospital’s regional VP of Government and Public Affairs, based in Orlando, I think.

    Regarding our governor’s last comment in the story about keeping costs low by encouraging people to stay healthy, there are many many people out there who live healthy lifestyles who still get cancer and other dread diseases, or who are in accidents, who then have no control over their own spiraling medical expenses, and their subsequent decline into poverty. The governor has neither a clue nor a heart.

    • Atheist Mom says:

      Yeah I’d like to see the governor deliver that line personally to my autistic 9 year old who also has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and Scleroderma. I guess she had the personal responsibility to stay well and she failed at it. From birth. Those darn 1 year olds and their self-destructive bad habits, you know. It’s a good thing we have Rick Scott to fix everything.

      (Those large bangs you hear are just the blood vessels in my head exploding from contemplating Rick Scott for more than 3 seconds. Please pay no mind.)

  4. Justice for All says:

    I am healthy, but my private insurance went up $50.00 per month. When I questioned the insurance company about this, along with why certain procedures weren’t covered, they said the increase was what they were approved to charge, comparable to the cost for services in our County. I now pay just under $700.00 per month, with an eye popping $5,000 deductible. Yes, I need a second job just to pay for health insurance….

    • Magnolia says:

      Going through the same here. My premiums have done nothing but rise since this bill was signed. I’ve had to change companies to stay insured. Now I’m making a second house payment.

      Thought the point was to make it cheaper.

  5. Sad Times says:

    Well, well, well….. and the stupidities continue….. again!! Guess what, Florida…. you voted him in…. evidently, you did not research Scott’s views very thoroughly. What does he care…. he has all the “health perks”???? To “h” with those whose jobs do not provide health insurance… is his opinion.

    My question…. how does a person who has a full time job and who is not provided with health care via his/her job….. go to a doctor? Why does not Scott answer this question?!

  6. question says:

    Re above photo…
    The Guv can sure bring out a crowd, huh!

    If the Guv won’t:
    If states do not create insurance exchanges, the federal government says it will set up them.

    And like the rail $ FL will not see under this gov…FL will lose millions once again in Fed $ for expanded Medicade.

    Good thing the Guv is protected…sitting on his ill-gotten Medicare fraud cash. Sheewww…I’ll sure sleep better tonight knowing that!

  7. Magnolia says:

    Taxpayers must pay for Medicaid expansion. We cannot pay for what we have now. What is your solution? Spending money you don’t have is also malfeasance and a felony. The Commissioners just extended the contract of a man running the county until 1916 who is doing just that without even discussing it and you’re calling Gov. Scott a crook?

    The bill is coming due.

    Solutions, please.

  8. rickg says:

    Just how insensitive can this guy get? And how blind and full of BS can the Rs get? Florida has the second most uninsured non elderly people and Massachusetts has the fewest. I wonder why that is? Oh yeah Romney created and passed a health care law in which the ACA mirrored. There it is right in front of their face but Rs will still deny that the law is beneficial. And its about time we take care of those who need it and stop giving big business and others who have prevailed and prospered under the system set up by Rs since 1998 tax breaks. It doesn’t create jobs. It creates wealth into those who already have it. Its unconscionable for the state to allow this poor health care system in Florida to exist.

  9. palmcoaster says:

    Demand that our legislators place the recall provision in the Florida Constitution and recall the guy!

    • Nancy N. says:

      A Republican legislature is not going to put in place a mechanism to allow voters to recall a Republican governor.

      Oh yeah…and good luck getting Scott to sign that one if it did pass the legislature!

      Can it be done without the legislature? Through ballot initiative to create the constitutional amendment? Seems like we’ve been doing that a lot lately in FL – any reason it can’t be done for creating a recall process?

  10. question says:

    Howard Dean: It’s ‘gubernatorial malpractice’ not to accept Medicaid funds
    By Zachary Roth – Mon Jul 2, 2012 9:44 PM EDT.

    Several Republican governors have said they plan not to expand their states’ Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. On The Rachel Maddow Show Monday, one former governor said failing to do so would be “gubernatorial malpractice.”

    Howard Dean said accepting federal money to expand Medicaid would not only help the uninsured, it would also jolt states’ struggling economies.

    “This is just stupidity if governors refuse this,” said Dean, who served as governor of Vermont and came close to capturing the Democratic presidential nomination in 2000. “Because not only does it boost their healthcare sector and insure a lot of people, it raises their gross domestic product, because it increases spending by the private sector and the hospital sector in every aspect of the state’s economy.”

    “I don’t care who the governor in Texas is, they’re gonna take this money,” said Dean. “It’s $52 billion, and they have a really sophisticated network of hospitals, probably the third or fourth most sophisticated in the whole country … If you think that the governor, whoever it is, whether Republican or Democrat, is gonna be able to turn down $52 billion and not be eaten alive by places like Baylor and UT Medical Center, you’ve got another thing coming.”

  11. Johnny Taxpayer says:

    Is math no longer taught in the public schools? The Federal Government is going to “give” the states an increase in medicare funding but in return will demand changes that will cost much more than the funding they will “give” the states. Using the example cited by Howard Dean for Texas, they get $52bil which represents 90% of the federal government’s estimate of the costs the state will incur to meet the requirements. A couple of problems with this scenario, a) the federal government is notoriously crappy at estimating. b)even if there estimate were accurate (which would be the first time ever in recorded history) where does Texas come up with the other $8billion? Should they lay off teachers? fireman? police? Raise taxes? Scrap public works projects?
    And that doesn’t even consider that the $52bil is not “given” by the Federal Government, it’s ours tax money. People somehow get disconnected from the fact that the federal government does not generate income on it’s own. The only way the Feds get money is from you and I paying taxes.

  12. jespo says:

    Enacting health care reform needed to start with the insurance companies first since they are the ones driving the costs up. They determine the cost, who gets coverage, what will be paid for, and what doctors must/may charge. Any health care reform that doesn’t address this first is a waste of time and money since any and all regulation costs brought about by legislation will simply be passed on to the consumer…us. I know…shocking to think that insurance companies WANT this legislation passed because it means they pass the buck to those paying for health care while accepting more people on to their books because they’ll be fined if they don’t. This is reform?? It’s more like Tammany Hall and Boss Tweed all over again.

    And yet, because i wouldn’t be ME without posing the unpopular questions or comments (oh well) that most seem to gloss over in their rantings here we go: the Center for Disease Control has been advising for decades that 75 percent of chronic diseases requiring health care are preventable. 7 out of 10 deaths are due to preventable chronic diseases like diabetes, lung cancer, and heart disease to name a few. A very very very small percentage of fat people are fat because they have a metabolic issue…they simply shove too much food in their mouths, are lazy, get fat, get diabetes, then congestive heart failure, then die. Your neighbor’s taxes paid for your health care right before you died young leaving your family behind…way to go. Have another Steak and Shake meal and cry about being fat. Right.

    If you smoke, you’re an ass. Yeah yeah it’s addictive, you like it, you’ve been doing it a long time, yatta yatta yatta. You’re fooling yourself, hurting others around you, and you’re selfish and want to die young. Be my guest, since no one is forcing you to buy another pack of death today. Wisen up, lose the illusion, stop killing yourself and making other people pay for it. The same goes for daily drinkers. Years ago a study was done that said 90 percent of hospital beds were filled with people whose hard drinking had caused their hospital stay in one form or another…med issues, accidents, fights, etc. Believe it or not, it is not Miller Time every damn day. Lose the crutch, you look ridiculous drinking all the time.

    This is Florida! It’s a great state to be healthy in! Go to the beach, swim, go on a walking trail, ride a bike, it’s so damned hot out you can’t help but sweat out the pounds. Eat healthier, no one is saying eat tofu or bean sprouts but ditch the mozzerella sticks and have something healthier for a snack now and then. Don’t smoke, drink, and eat yourself to death. Turn chronic care back into preventable care.

  13. Geezer says:

    I wonder what his hospital CEO buddies will say when their E.R.’s become clogged with desperately ill Floridians. Rick Scott is grandstanding…..again.

    He is more full of BS than one-hundred Texas steers. He’s bursting at the seams with BULLSHIT.
    Stand back when he finally bursts.

    But then again – How apropos because he truly is a big …

  14. Bob Z. says:

    The solution is to not re-elect Scott…the next Gov. can implement the changes.

  15. John Boy says:

    How the Fraudster can change his stripes so quickly. He used to love Medicaid and Medicare when he could rip off those programs. Now that he sold his interests in Solantic, he wants to do away with all medically related programs.Someone needs to jack his ignorant ass straight once and for all. Now he moves on to other programs like outsourcing prisons, establishing charter schools, anything where he can get kickbacks from his corporate criminal buddies.

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