Florida Catching up with Obamacare

The months of foot dragging are finally catching up with state leaders once determined to defeat Obamacare. We reported last week, Florida would miss the deadline to set up its own heath care exchange. Now the feds are giving Florida another shot.

LaTanya White is a small business manager with big future plans. “Our projections look at creating 41 new fulltime FTEs.”

Her business Concept Creative Hospitality Group helps coordinate events, train bartenders and wait staff, cater and dozens of other services.

The company’s plans include providing health care to their new employees. “It’s about really taking care of the people who take care of your organization.”

When the time comes for expansion, LaTanaya will have the benefit of a health care exchange to find the best deal on insurance, but whether state leaders here in Tallahassee or bureaucrats in Washington run the exchange has yet to be decided.

Last week the state missed a deadline to announce plans to run the exchange, but the feds extended the deadline to December 14th. Now Governor Rick Scott, a onetime Obamacare foe, has requested a meeting with the feds about state participation. “How do we make sure that anything we do at the state level, at the federal level, reduces the cost of health care for all Floridians? We want to make sure everybody gets health care.”

The exchange is expected to cost the state more than 90 million dollars to set up and millions more every year to run. Legislative leaders want to know if exchanges already in existence, Like Florida Healthy Choices, could be expanded to meet the federal criteria.

Either way the state will have an exchange. If state leaders don’t meet the December deadline, the feds will move forward with plans to set up an exchange for Florida. So far about a dozen states have chosen to set up their own exchanges.

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