TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Representative Mark Pafford (D-West Palm Beach), the Florida House Democratic Caucus policy chair, issued the following statement in regards to Governor Rick Scott’s meeting today with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
“Governor Rick Scott’s new-found appreciation for expanding Florida’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act is promising. But on behalf of Floridians who need better access to quality health care, I strongly hope that Governor Scott isn’t demanding that expansion of the Medicaid program be contingent upon federal approval of a controversial Medicaid HMO-managed experiment.
“The governor said today that he asked Secretary Sebelius to approve the HMO-style experiment. Surely the governor is aware that experts doubt whether taking the experiment statewide can produce long-term savings without sacrificing quality or access to health care in our state.
“Expansion of Florida’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act is deserving of discussion in its own right. While the governor continues to raise questions about the cost of Medicaid expansion, I believe Florida can save at least $1-billion in uncompensated care over a 10-year period by expanding the program. Further, Medicaid expansion in Florida, a big priority for Florida House Democratic Caucus members like myself, will prevent an estimated 5,680 deaths in Florida each year.
“I sincerely hope Governor Scott isn’t trying to delay or distract from the priority of full implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Florida.”
(Representative Pafford serves Florida House District 86 in Palm Beach County. His district office can be reached at 561-682-0156.)