Florida Senate: No State-Based Federal Health Care Exchange by 2014
Around the State
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or at (772) 215-9889.