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Scott to meet with HHS next month

by John Kennedy | December 21st, 2012

Rick Scott’s office confirmed Friday that Florida’s Republican governor is scheduled to meet with Health and Human Services Secretary Katherine Sebelius on Jan. 7 to address his concerns about the Affordable Care Act and the timetable for states to begin offering services in 2014.

“There are just a lot of questions on this,” said Scott chief-of-staff Melissa Sellers. “This will be an opportunity for us to raise the kind of concerns we have when we look ahead to longterm budgeting.”

Scott, who has resisted the federal health care overhaul for years, will travel to Washington, D.C., for the meeting. President Obama’s re-election last month convinced the governor that his hope of having the law repealed by Congress was not going to happen.

Still, the state effectively ignored a deadline last week for notifying federal officials about what kind of health exchange the state planned to employ –the exchanges being an online marketplace for Floridians to select insurance coverage. Scott and Republican leaders in the Legislature have told the administration that the timetable doesn’t fit the state’s needs, given that state lawmakers don’t convene in regular session until March.

This week, Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration also rolled out new cost estimates that expanding the state’s Medicaid program — an option urged by the Obama administration — would cost Florida taxpayers $26 billion over 10 years. That’s triple the price state economists put on the proposed expansion four months ago.

 

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