Florida Senate: No State-Based Federal Health Care Exchange by 2014

By: Jim Turner | Posted: December 11, 2012 3:55 AM

Want to tell state legislators and Congress what you really think of the Affordable Care Act?

The Florida Senate has set up a website for people to tell legislators how the state should respond to the federal law better known as Obamacare.

Joe Negron and Don Gaetz

Sen. Joe Negron and Senate President Don Gaetz

And one thing that Floridians have to worry about is legislators setting up a state-based exchange in the near future.

On the website, the state givens an emphatic “No” in its own question and answer section on Florida operating an exchange by Oct. 1, 2013.

“Florida, and several other states, did not submit a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services by the November deadline to indicate an intention to operate a State Based Exchange for health care coverage in calendar year 2014. Another deadline is set for December 14, but Florida’s position is unlikely to change at that time.”

That means Florida will default into the federal program called the Federally Facilitated Exchange.

Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, and Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, announced Monday the creation of the site that will also let people directly comment on the law to their congressional members, whom Gaetz noted are the only ones who can change the federal law.

“The new tools on this website will ensure that citizens who cannot travel to Tallahassee are able to play a meaningful role in the process,” Gaetz stated in a release.

“We plan to provide frequent updates and hope that interested Floridians will sign up for the Senate’s tracker which will allow them to receive updates from the PPACA Committee.”

Visit the website here.

The Senate’s Select Committee on Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, chaired by Negron, will spent the next couple of months hearing from the public, health care providers, and representatives from Florida’s insurance industry on the law that was fought to the U.S. Supreme Court by Florida.

Gaetz has said that any health care talks would hinge on the federal government replying to the 2011 state law that requires Medicaid patients in Florida to be shifted into private HMOs.

House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, has said the concern remains providing the cheapest alternative for Floridians and so far the federal government hasn’t provided enough information to determine if a state or federal exchange will offer lower costs.

Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Scott, a former health care executive, continues to wait for his requested sit-down with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to discuss some of his own ideas on the law.

The new site offers basic information on the law, along with a comprehensive list of issues the committee will evaluate.

“Constituents have the option of leaving a comment related to an individual decision point or a general comment about how Florida should respond to the implementation of PPACA by the federal government,” Negron stated in the release.

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.

Comments (21)

1:12PM OCT 8TH 2013
Why are Florida's ruling class leaving us at the mercy of the insurance industry robber barons?
Jeanne Turner
5:27PM SEP 30TH 2013
I want to know how to make sure my govenor knows that I need health care coverage and want the state of Florida to offer an exchange. I want to know where to go to get information about purchasing healthcare throught the state.
Jessie Lou
9:28PM DEC 12TH 2012
Please do all you can to stop this. I feel we are being run over by a truck that is out of control.
1:07PM OCT 8TH 2013
It's the law. Get over it or get out.
8:22PM DEC 13TH 2012
But at least you'll be guaranteed of having health care after the truck takes you out . . . . . .
Charles Graham
5:18PM DEC 12TH 2012
8:38PM DEC 13TH 2012
You know, I was going to recommend a move to Somalia, but even they have government health care . . . . .but after a little searching, it appears that the following countries are open to you without a government health care program:

(1) Liberia
(2) Bangladesh
(3) Turkmenistan
(4) Yemen

Feel free to emigrate to any of them to avoid U.S. government health care . . . I wish you well . . . . but unfortunately, not good health . . .
1:08PM OCT 8TH 2013
I'll help pay for any tea party terrorist who wants to move to Yemen
3:05PM DEC 12TH 2012
Please do everything you possibly can to kill this terrible Act. Thank you for being willing to hear from the responsible people of FL. No exchange!
8:40PM DEC 13TH 2012
Ahhh, sorry, but that's not an option . . . . either Florida establishes them, or the federal government will . . . .
Steven D. Lange
12:06PM DEC 12TH 2012
Kill Obamacare. Stomp on it. Stop it. Don't set up health exchanges.

I will not participate in any government forced program which is not of my choosing. And I choose not to.
8:40PM DEC 13TH 2012
As long as you're willing to pay the fines, fine . . . . .
Natalie Roberts
6:20PM DEC 11TH 2012
I think we should nullify.
6:49PM DEC 11TH 2012
Good luck with that fantasy - why don't you stake your entire fortune on nullification being legal . . . . . proposing a Constitution that never was . . . .and Supreme Court rulings that have never happened . . . .

Politics of the "Big Lie" . . . . puts you right there in league with those who pushed that concept in the 1950's for "separate but equal" . . . . and earlier for the Confederacy . . . . .

Pathetic . . . . .
6:18PM DEC 11TH 2012
the republican legislature makes me sick, and i'm a republican.
1:09PM OCT 8TH 2013
5:17PM DEC 11TH 2012
As long as the rightwing, rockheaded, regressive Republicans hold the Florida legislature with a super-majority ... this state will ... regress! And, at some point, that will lump Florida in with Mississippi, Alabama and the other bassackward GOP states of America!
barbara grossman
12:52PM DEC 11TH 2012
Just say no for once and stand for what the people want. No government health care. Your in our lives enough.
5:19PM DEC 11TH 2012
Prettty gross, man!
1:01PM DEC 11TH 2012
I guess you've just missed the last couple of years . . . . .and a supreme court decision . . . . . and an election . . . . . so sad to not know where you are, or what reality is all about . . . . . . .

So sad . . . . . .
11:38AM DEC 11TH 2012
Ah, yes . . . . the "let's punt" strategy . . . . we'll abrogate our responsibility and let the feds set up whatever system they want for the exchanges . . . . we're taking our ball and sitting on our behinds doing nothing, once again . . . . . .

Par for the course pathetic partisanship . . . . so much for actual leadership . . . . .

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