Republican Governor Rick Scott (R-FL) overinflated the numbers for how much the Affordable Care Act’s expanded Medicaid program will cost by an incredible 2,500%, all to avoid a Democratic idea that conservatives seem to literally be willing to oppose to the death (not theirs, of course, but everyone else’s).
What’s more, he knows that the numbers he is citing are completely incorrect.
As reported by Think Progress:
Internal email messages uncovered by Health News Florida reveal that Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) is knowingly citing inaccurate cost estimates to justify his refusal to expand Florida’s Medicaid program. Though the governor’s office is fully aware that the numbers are wrong, Scott continues to use them anyway, the documents show.
Florida, which has one of the highest rates of uninsurance in the nation, could extend health coverage to about one million low-income residents by accepting Obamacare’s optional Medicaid expansion. But the governor — an ardent Obamacare opponent — has repeatedly said that expanding Medicaid would just be too expensive, claiming it would cost the state $26 billion over the next 10 years.
This is an example of the same obstructionism that has frozen Congress as of late (with notable exceptions). Simply refusing an idea because it isn’t credited to the same political party as you isn’t the right thing to do. This means that people that need healthcare won’t get it. Rick Scott is placing politics above the quality of life of his citizens, which is immoral at best and evil at worst.
Think Progress goes on to quote Florida’s Agency for Health Care Adminstration, citing the following (emphasis theirs):
But those numbers are based on a flawed report, state budget analysts say. A series of e-mails obtained by Health News Florida shows the analysts warned Scott’s office the numbers were wrong weeks ago, but he is still using them. [...]
The Act says the federal government will pay the lion’s share of the cost for new Medicaid eligibles if a state agrees to expand its program — a decision the Supreme Court left up to the states. The federal contribution for the new eligibles would be 100 percent between 2014 and 2016, then would taper after that to 90 percent by 2020 and stay there.
There you have it. Rick Scott is willfully lying, and there are no two ways about it. I know that this won’t surprise most people (after all, he was one elected official that made a pretty good attempt to institutionalize voter suppression), but it still must be pointed out.
Is this type of behavior acceptable?
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