Rick Scott: Florida Won’t Implement Optional Portions of Obamacare
Florida will join other states in opting out of the Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act and won't set up insurance exchanges, Gov. Rick Scott announced Sunday.
Scott also declared that if the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is not repealed before Jan 1, 2014 -- which most likely would require the GOP to capture the U.S. Senate and White House this November -- Florida would comply with only the required sections of the Act.
In upholding the Act last week, the nation's top court ruled all individuals must buy insurance or pay a penalty starting in 2014 and in favor of the massive expansion of Medicaid, the state-federal insurance program for the poor. But the court added that the White House couldn’t threaten to withhold funding for states that opt out of the expansion.
A release from the governor’s office on Sunday noted that Scott -- after reviewing the U.S. Supreme Court ruling released Thursday on the Act – decided “two major provisions in the law are inconsistent with his mission to grow jobs for Floridians, make sure there is adequate funding for education, and to keep the cost of living as low as possible.
“Floridians are interested in jobs and economic growth, a quality education for their children, and keeping the cost of living low,” Scott stated in the release. “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.”
The statement notes that “even though the federal government has promised to initially pay 100 percent of the increase in Medicaid payments for the first three years of Obamacare, the burden increasingly shifts to Florida taxpayers in future years.”
“The real problem with health care is that costs continue to rise. That’s why I believe we need more choice for patients, more free-market competition, increased accountability for providers, and incentives for personal responsibility,” Scott stated in the release. “These are the things we can do that will hold down health-care costs and make it affordable for more people. Unfortunately, Obamacare doesn’t do any of those things. In Florida, we are focused on becoming the No. 1 place for businesses so that Floridians have more jobs.”