Scott says state will comply with justices’ health care rulingby John Kennedy | June 20th, 2012
With Florida leading a multi-state challenge to the federal health care overhaul, Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday that he will “comply with the law,” if it is upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
In a conference call organized by opponents of the Affordable Care Act, Scott essentially echoed statements he’s made for months — even as a ruling by justices is expected within the next 10 days.
“If it’s the law of the land, then we’re going to comply,” Scott said. “But I’m very optimistic that the Supreme Court will either declare it unconstitutional or it will be repealed.”
Scott acknowledged that a congressional repeal could happen only if presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney defeats the health care overhaul’s main champion, President Obama, this fall. Similarly, Scott said states should be given authority by the federal government to design their own Medicaid programs — which he said would reduce costs.
Scott sees a Romney presidency has central to that wish coming true.
“Whether we get a bloc grant or not is going to be dependent on the national election,” Scott said.
Before he became governor, Scott, a multimillionaire health care entrepreneur, made his first foray into politics by founding Conservatives for Patients’ Rights. The political committee ran ads in 2009 opposing President Obama’s health care plans.
As governor, Scott told the Palm Beach Post last year that the measure approved by Congress and signed into law by the president in 2010 is “not the law of the land.” While he said the state would meet its obligations if the Supreme Court upholds the law, he added: “I don’t believe it will ever be the law of the land.”
Just weeks after he was sworn in, Scott halted plans put in place by his predecessor, Gov. Charlie Crist, for health insurance exchanges, a central part of the federal plan.
The state also has turned back grants to allow long-term care patients to return home, to reduce child abuse through in-home counseling and to educate teenagers on preventing pregnancy.
In this spring’s legislative session, Scott and Republican legislative leaders refused $438.5 million in federal money aimed at increasing Medicaid payments to doctors.
Tags: Affordable Care Act