Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:37 PM
DonViejo (13,820 posts)
Florida Governor Inflates Cost Of Medicaid Expansion By 2,500% To Avoid Implementing Obamacare
Internal email messages uncovered by Health News Florida reveal that Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) is knowingly citing inaccurate cost estimates to justify his refusal to expand Florida’s Medicaid program. Though the governor’s office is fully aware that the numbers are wrong, Scott continues to use them anyway, the documents show.
Florida, which has one of the highest rates of uninsurance in the nation, could extend health coverage to about one million low-income residents by accepting Obamacare’s optional Medicaid expansion. But the governor — an ardent Obamacare opponent — has repeatedly said that expanding Medicaid would just be too expensive, claiming it would cost the state $26 billion over the next 10 years.
As Health News Florida reports, however, that figure from Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) is inflated because it doesn’t take into account the full amount that the federal government will reimburse states for choosing to expand Medicaid. A more accurate analysis found that expansion would cost the state around $1 billion:
But those numbers are based on a flawed report, state budget analysts say. A series of e-mails obtained by Health News Florida shows the analysts warned Scott’s office the numbers were wrong weeks ago, but he is still using them.
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