Florida Governor Rick Scott to Support Three-Year Limited Medicaid Expansion Under Affordable Care Act
Feb 20, 2013
Florida Governor Rick Scott announced late today, February 20, 2013, that he would support a limited, three-year expansion of the State’s Medicaid program under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act while the federal government is paying 100 percent of the cost.
Governor Scott said, “While the federal government is committed to paying 100 percent of the cost of new people in Medicaid, I cannot, in good conscience, deny the uninsured access to care. We will support a three-year expansion of our Medicaid program under the new healthcare law, as long as the federal government meets their commitment to pay 100 percent of the cost during this time. This legislation would sunset after three years and need to be reauthorized.
“There are no perfect options. Our options are either having Floridians pay to fund this program in other states while denying healthcare to our citizens or using federal funding to help some of the poorest in our state with the Medicaid program as we explore other healthcare reforms.
“Expanding access to Medicaid services for three years is a compassionate, common sense step forward. It is not the end of our work to improve healthcare. And, it is not a white flag of surrender to government-run healthcare. I am committed to working every day to improve access to affordable, high-quality healthcare in Florida, while also protecting taxpayers and keeping our economy growing to create more jobs–which ultimately fuels the dreams of every Florida family.”
The Governor’s full remarks as prepared for delivery during a related news conference are available by clicking here.
Of the developments, Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel) said “Governor Scott has made his decision and I certainly respect his thoughts. However, the Florida Legislature will make the ultimate decision. I am personally skeptical that this inflexible law will improve the quality of healthcare in our state and ensure our long-term financial stability. The House of Representatives has a bipartisan select committee that is currently meeting regularly on this issue. I look forward to the recommendations that our select committee will bring forth in the next few weeks. I am confident that our actions will be based on principle and rooted in facts.”
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