TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – Governor Rick Scott is under fire for using inflated numbers to help his case for rejecting key parts of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
A new report from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration issued Wednesday dramatically dropped the potential cost to the state over a decade to carry out the Medicaid expansion included in the Affordable Care Act.
Governor Scott had been using the group produced previously of $26 billion over ten years as the cost to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The AHCA report issued Wednesday dropped the number to as low as $3 billion over 10 years.
The newly revised numbers came after budget analysts, including a top staff member on the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee, raised issues about the assumptions the group had used in the report that produced the $26 billion result, according to the News Service of Florida.
Scott, according to Health News Florida, was told the early analysis made the assumption the federal government would not fulfill its promise to pay for a majority of the costs.
Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government would pay 100 percent of the costs of expanding Medicaid eligibility for the first three years of the law and then 90 percent going forward after that.
Scott’s office said in a statement that because the law is a growth in government, it’s never free; the number of people with Medicaid would nearly double, and when government grows, it’s almost never undone.
Florida Republicans, led by Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi, fought the Affordable Care Act to the Supreme Court before losing. Scott was one of the biggest supporters of the fight against the ACA before he was elected governor.
Now, the state legislature and Scott must decide how they are going to meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act going forward. So far, Scott has rejected having the state create a health-insurance exchange, which will instead be set up by the federal government.
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