Monday, December 3, 2012

Decisions, decisions: how will FL handle healthcare reform?

After the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, the country reelected Obama and voters in Florida rejected a constitutional amendment to block implementation of the individual mandate—a key element in healthcare reformit seems it is time for Gov. Scott to accept that our state will indeed have “Obamacare.”

But of course, Scott and the state legislature put us in the worst possible place to adopt the new legislation by rejecting federal money and delaying implementation for the past two and a half years. Florida now needs to decide whether to create an exchange or allow the federal government to do it for us. On Thursday, Florida advocates for healthcare sent this letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with recommendations for how the state exchange should be operated. Sign the letter here.

Florida also has the option to opt out of Medicaid expansion, which would add 1.6 million people to the program. It would be penny wise and pound foolish to not accept the federal subsidy to expand Medicaid in Florida. Studies show that the state cost of expansion with special subsidy would be $556 per patient per year versus $946 per year cost if we do nothing.