Although the Supreme Court upheld the controversial Affordable Care Act also known as ObamaCare last week, Florida governor Rick Scott announced that the state of Florida will not implement the new federal health care law, citing bad policy and increased expenses.
Lane Wright, a spokesperson for Rick Scott, announced to the press on MSNBC last night:
“Florida is not going to implement Obamacare. We are not going to expand Medicaid and we’re not going to implement exchanges.”
Furthermore, Wright explained that governor Rick Scott is still working to have the new health care law repealed. Although the Supreme Court decided that the law is constitutional, responses about the decision have been mixed.
As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, Rick Scott commented in an interview for Fox News:
“We care about the citizens of our state. We know this will be bad for our health care. We want jobs in our state. This is going to put American businesses at an unbelievable disadvantage as compared to businesses around the world.”
Governor Rick Scott believes that ObamaCare will ultimately “hinder the ability of the free market to allow higher-quality health-care providers to prosper.” As reported by the Orlando Sentinel, the governor of Florida favors a different method of health care reform in which individuals get tax credits to shop for health insurance.
Cost is one of the reasons that Rick Scott is citing for his refusal to adopt the new health care law. He states that expanding Medicaid would cost $1.9 billion annually, an expense that would be passed on as a tax to the residents of Florida. To avoid overtaxing Floridians, the governor refuses to allow health care reform to move forward.
However, the expansion of Medicaid is not mandated to begin until 2014. Furthermore, the federal government already plans to pay for 100 percent of the additional cost for the first three years of the expansion, a fact about the new health care law that Rick Scott seems to be forgetting.
Democratic Representative Mark Pafford disagrees with governor Rick Scott. Pafford believes that “resisting the health care law is the wrong thing to do.” As he tells the Tampa Bay Times:
“We can afford it. There are plenty of ways to do that. They just don’t want to afford it.”
Fortunately for the uninsured in Florida, the Legislature and not governor Rick Scott sets the budget including spending for programs such as Medicaid. Ultimately, the Legislature will decide whether to allocate money to implement provisions of the new health care law.
Do you think that Rick Scott is making a mistake in saying that he refuses to implement ObamaCare?