Florida officials who challenged the health care law were over confident of victory and have been slow in setting up insurance exchanges required under the health care law, and As Mike Vasilinda tells us, Florida has refused millions in Federal money to prepare.
On February first, 2011one of Governor Rick Scott’s first official acts was to turn down more than a million dollars to begin implementing the Affordable Care Act. “We not going to spend a lot of time and money to get ready to implement that until we know what happens” said the new Governor.
The money in 2011 would have gone to establishing on line heath exchanges for consumer to compare rates. At the time, Scott promised: “The state won’t be caught flat footed”.
On Friday health care advocates were chastising the Governor for not moving more quickly, borrowing his campaign slogan “Let’s Get to Work!”
Earlier this year, state lawmakers talked about setting up a mechanism for accepting federal money if the health care did become law. The Governor threatened a veto, so it didn’t happen.
The money would help provide more care for up to half a million kids. Dr. Louis St. Petery says current system treats them unfairly. “So you take Grandma to the doctor for a sore throat and they pay pay 56 percent more for the doctor than the pediatrician who sees the grandchild for the same sore throat.” St. Petery calls the system “Crazy”.
The dilemma for Governor Rick Scott is that the program is only fully funded for the first two years. After that the state pays one of every ten dollars. On Thursday the Governor was uncertain about what the state would do next. “I’ve got to read through the decision to make sure we understand it” is what he told reporters when pushed.
Scott is also hanging his hat on his support for Mitt Romney. Romney has already promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
The state can still take advantage of 450 million dollars in Federal money to provide better health care for children if the legislature acts before this coming January.