Governor, congresswoman at odds over health care law
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Days after a historic healthcare measure was upheld by the Supreme Court, Florida's governor and a South Florida congresswoman are debating the measure's benefits, clearly at odds over two of the plan's biggest points.
Florida is one of the states that sued to block President Obama's health care reform law, and now Governor Rick Scott says the parts of the law that are optional will not be enacted in Florida.
Governor Scott was all over the national media Monday. He appeared on FOX News to explain why Florida will opt out of two major provisions of President Obama's health care reform law. Scott said, "You have insurance in countries like Canada and the UK. They say, 'We cover you,' but then you don't get it, because it's rationed. And that's what's going to happen."
The governor says the state will opt out of two optional measures: A massive expansion of Medicaid, and the creation of a state-run exchange, which is a marketplace from which consumers can buy insurance.
Under the expansion of Medicaid, the federal government would pay the nearly $2 billion price tag for the first three years. "You just said it: In the early years," said Scott, "but on top of that, it's not free. It's $1.9 billion a year. You're still paying it."
As for the insurance exchanges, the governor says they don't work. "The congressional budget office said, if you're going to buy your own policy, with these exchanges, you'll be paying 10 percent more, a family will. So about $2,100 more for a family," Scott said.
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a health care reform supporter, disagreed with the governor's decision. "I have to tell you, I think he's acting like a spoiled brat. He insisted that the law was unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court has ruled. The matter should be settled," said Wasserman Schultz.
The local congresswoman feels that Scott should implement all parts of the law, which she believes is already making a positive difference. "By reducing costs, increasing choice and benefiting from common-sense rules," she said.
Wasserman Schultz, who is a breast cancer survivor, points especially to the law's provisions that protect those with pre-existing conditions, like herself. She said, "Soon, insurers will not be able to discriminate against any of the 129 million Americans who live with pre-existing conditions in this country. That's 45 percent. Forty-five percent of Americans, folks, live with pre-existing conditions in the United States."
Governor Scott says if congressional Republicans cannot repeal the president's law altogether, he will comply with the mandatory portions of it.
Most of the measure's provisions will kick in in 2014.
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