What is the future of ObamaCare in Florida now that President Obama is reelected? If Republican Gov. Rick Scott has his way, the state will continue to resist the president’s signature law.
Gov. Scott has been a high-profile opponent of Obama’s law since the controversial legislation was proposed. Even though voters returned Obama to office for another four years, Scott does not see this as a reason for his state to reverse course.
Focus on Costs
Although the governor will not implement Obama’s law, that does not mean he is opposed to all reforms of the health care sector.
“Just saying ‘no’ is not an answer,” said Scott. “We need to focus on how Obamacare affects each of our families. Will it increase the cost of healthcare for our families? Will it impact the quality of healthcare for our families? Will it impact Floridians’ access to our health care system?”
Scott said he intends to focus on lowering health care costs in the state.
“I am looking forward to working with legislators and others on specific ways to address these issues,” Scott said. “On Obamacare, I am concerned about how it affects patients, jobs, and taxes on Floridians. The problem we need to address is why health care costs so much for our families.”
Avoiding Medicaid Expansion
The path Scott is taking on health care reform is supported by some health care analysts in Florida.
“For many years, Florida’s James Madison Institute (JMI) has been tracking the Sunshine State’s healthcare policies, particularly those that affect Medicaid,” said Robert McClure III, president and CEO of JMI. “Based on our extensive findings, we believe that Gov. Rick Scott—and every governor in America—would be well advised to remain cautious about committing their respective states to a costly expansion of Medicaid.”
In October, JMI published a policy brief, “Options for Florida Going Forward under the PPACA,” which concluded “deferring action—whether temporarily or, in some instances, permanently—may well be the most prudent course of action for Florida.”
McClure also sounded a note of caution about other aspects of Obama’s law.
“State and local governments—in their role as major employers—need to be aware of the costs of complying with the PPACA’s health insurance mandates with respect to the coverage provided to their employees,” McClure said. “After all, state governments have major responsibilities beyond helping low-income families and public employees gain access to health care. Moreover, unlike the federal government, most state governments must balance their budgets—and doing so by imposing higher taxes on a fragile economy would be reckless.”
McClure says Scott has received this message loud and clear.
James Madison Institute: “Options for Florida Going Forward under the PPACA.”