Scott on ObamaCare: “no is not an answer”by John Kennedy | November 14th, 2012
Gov. Rick Scott continued Wednesday to shift away from his once staunch opposition to the federal health care overhaul, with his office underscoring his willingness to negotiate how Florida can take part in the effort.
Scott last week told the Palm Beach Post that ”just saying no is not an answer,” to the Affordable Care Act, a position that has become clear following President Obama’s re-election. Scott had expected the election of Republican Mitt Romney and a Republican-controlled Congress to lead to repeal of the 2010 law.
But Thursday, Scott’s office issued a press release containing an Associated Press story in which the governor is quoted saying he is looking to work with federal officials on implementing the law in Florida.
“The election is over and President Obama won. I’m responsible for the families of Florida…If I can get to yes, I want to get to yes,” Scott is quoted.
The health care law requires consumers to carry insurance beginning in 2014 face a penalty. Coverage would be purchased through online health marketplaces — called exchanges — employer-provided insurance, Medicaid or Medicare. Some who can’t afford insurance will be eligible for subsidies.
If Florida doesn’t establish its own exchanges, the federal government will do it for the state. Scott and other governors have until Friday to tell federal officials if they plan to implement their own exchanges. States planning to do so must supply a blueprint by Dec. 14.
Scott and incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, both acknowledge that Florida would be hard-pressed to meet these deadlines. Scott and Republican leaders in the Legislature effectively have ignored provisions of the Affordable Care Act, rejecting millions of dollars in benefits already offered states.