By Roger Caldwell
Governor Rick Scott is disappointed with the decision by the Supreme Court. “Today’s decision by the Supreme Court of the United States is simply disappointing. The Justices have declared that the central provision of ObamaCare is a judicially mandated tax-a new tax pure and simple. This is just another burden the federal government has put on American families and small businesses,” says Gov. Scott.
For the last couple of months Gov. Scott has acted like the Affordable Care Act was not the law of the land. Our governor has refused millions of dollars from the federal government, to help the state implement new systems for the Affordable Care Act. Some political experts and press reports have determined that Gov. Scott rejected at least $500 million from the federal government to make the transition.
Gov. Scott has been critical of the law since he became governor, and now he is making excuses of why Florida should not expand Medicaid coverage under the federal health care law. Instead of providing more coverage for low-income residents, elderly, and disabled, the governor is saying that the state will not be able to afford the expanded Medicaid coverage.
This is not a factual statement, because under the Affordable Care Act starting in 2014, the federal government would pay 100 percent of the expansion until 2016. The states would start paying a share of the expansion in 2016, and the share would gradually increase to a maximum of 10% of the new cost in 2020.
It is possible that our governor has not done his homework, but it does not make sense to make public statements that are not factual. Somewhere in our governor’s mindset for the last two years, he has resisted President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. It is now time that our governor starts to embrace the law and decide how his administration can implement the law in the state.
It is time for Gov. Scott to accept that he has lost his battle with the Affordable Care Act. There are millions of dollars connected to the new law that can benefit thousands of Floridians.
“In Florida alone, health care reform has already saved seniors more than $141 million in reduced prescription drug cost, is closing the Medicare prescription drug donut hole, and provided free annual wellness visits to more than two million seniors. There is no doubt that in just its first two years, this legislation, aimed at fixing our nation’s broken health insurance system, has already helped millions of Floridians live healthier,” says Debbie Wasserman Shultz, a South Florida Congresswoman, and chairwomen of the Democratic National Committee.
It is imperative that Gov. Scott moves ahead with the implementation of the law in Florida. In order for health care reform to work in Florida, our governor must take the lead, and be positive and proactive. Floridians need Gov. Scott to get on board, and expeditiously implement the Affordable Care Act, which has been upheld as the law of the land.