Scott Willing to Play Ball Amid Looming Deadline

For many, Mitt Romney’s presidential defeat was about more than the White House. It was a last ditch effort to beat the Affordable Care Act.

In 2010, Republicans failed to win enough Senate seats to pass a repeal bill. Earlier this year, a Supreme Court challenge of the new health care law fell flat.

One of Governor Rick Scott’s top priorities was to repeal Obamacare, but with no options left, he’s now changing his tune.

Scott told reporters Tuesday, he’s now willing to negotiate with the federal government, about how best to implement the changes. His staff even went as far as promoting Scott’s role reversal emailing this article to reporters.

But Scott’s change of tune comes as a crucial deadline approaches. The state has until Friday to come up with a plan for its health care exchange.

Incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford says Florida won’t meet the deadline. “I don’t think the state is going to be in a position to have a definitive answer of what our plan is by next Friday,” said Weatherford.

Missing the deadline means the feds will launch an exchange for Florida. The next choice that has to be made is whether or not to expand Florida’s Medicaid roles. Social service advocates say that discussion needs to begin soon.

“We’ve got a million very low income people who would benefit from that,” said Karen Woodall.

Before the court challenge, states that didn’t expand Medicaid could be penalized. The penalty was thrown out, so now Florida has options about how to proceed.

And that deadline is 2014. The feds are offering to pay Florida 27 billion dollars over the next 10 years to extend Medicaid to a million more families. Scott’s worried about what happens after the money stops in 2024. Social service advocates say if Florida doesn’t expand its rolls the money will go to another state.


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