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During the last week a number of Republican Governors have declared their refusal to cooperate with the establishment of health insurance exchanges, and expansion of federally subsidized state Medicaid which are components of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, but Florida Governor, Rick Scott (R) reversed his previous opposition and said he will cooperate, probably in anticipation of a tough election challenge in 2014 form former Governor Charlie Christ. But, now, the Koch Brother's Americans For Prosperity is  'Extremely Disappointed' In Rick Scott After Obamacare Shift, and accusing him of working against his states inteests, reports Nick Wing.

"AFP is extremely disappointed in leaders in Florida suggesting that the Sunshine State should create a health insurance exchange” said Slade O’Brien, AFP’s Florida State Director. “An exchange will increase insurance premiums on consumers and taxes on hardworking families. Florida’s best intentions will be masked by the federal government’s onerous requirements.”

Scott had stood as one of the most stubborn adversaries of Obamacare, even in the wake of the president's reelection, which effectively secured the law's existence. But after first vowing to reject moves to set up a state-run health insurance exchange and expand Medicaid rolls under the Affordable Care Act, Scott said last week that he was ready to "have a conversation." Leaders in the state legislature have also signalled a willingness to take steps toward implementation.

The AFP's state policy manager Nicole Kaeding suggested that Gov. Scott and his administration "being bought off by the prospect of federal funds."  

The AFP's willingness to retaliate so quickly, and so intensely for Governor Scott merely saying he was ready to "have a conversation," shows their willingness to use intimidation to influence other governors to resist implementation of the ACA.

People will go to the exchanges to learn whether they qualify for the health insurance tax credits available to anyone earning up to four times the federal poverty level, which amounts to $44,680 this year. Those earning up to 133 percent of the poverty level, or $14,856 this year, will be entitled to Medicaid if they live in a state that doesn't refuse to expand the program. Through the exchanges, 9 million people will obtain private health insurance for 2014 and 11 million will enter the Medicaid program or the Children's Health Insurance Program that first year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Friday was the original deadline for Governors to inform the federal government if they intended to cooperate by having their state set up the subsidized insurance exchanges required by the ACA, but Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius extended the deadline to December 14.  If a state does not set up the insurance exchanges, the federal government is then required to intervene and set them up instead as they must be up and running by October 1, 2013.  

Governors who refuse to cooperate and also refuse subsidized expansion of state Medicaid to insure those who can not afford to purchase themselves will be taking a big political risk in denying free coverage to their poorest citizens.

It is quite sad to see how far right-wing ideologues are willing to go to fight against health care coverage for our poorest citizens.

 

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Comment Preferences

  •  Who pays for the exchange? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, mjbleo

    Will Republican states get an exchange created by the federal gov. For free?

    •  You may be right about this, I'm not sure. The (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mjbleo

      federal government is offering to subsidize 100% of the Medicaid expansion for the first two years.  It gradually reduces to 90%.  But, this is a benefit for the recipients.

      I believe one of the issues that Republican governors are objecting to is that the states do have to pay for setting up the exchanges.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:31:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The complete article link above includes this (0+ / 0-)

      talking point of the AFP

      "Florida’s leaders are showing a real lack of resolve exchanging health care freedom for these temporary funds.” said Kaeding. “Creating an exchange puts state taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars every year. Florida should reject these bloated bureaucracies.”

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:32:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  IIRC there were grants (0+ / 0-)

      available to set up exchanges, but states had to apply for them. Same money just different agency using it I guess.

      The Spice must Flow!

      by Texdude50 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:42:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Health Insurance Exchanges (0+ / 0-)

    The Sherman Anti-Trust Act, from 50 years ago, exempt two 'industries' from regulation -- Major League Baseball and Insurance Companies.  That means they can get away with not competing in a market and thus hold prices high.  The Affordable Care Act requires Insurance Companies to compete in the exchanges, and the Franken Amendment requires Insurance Companies to spend at least 80% of their premiums on actual health care.  They are required to rebate the difference instead of pocketing it.  We got our first rebate in August 2012.  Did anybody notice?
    Republican governors -- wholly owned by the Insurance Cartel -- are refusing to participate because the Insurance Cartel wants to keep profits high (and health care costs low) and the exchanges would change that.
    Ultimately, we will end up with universal, single-payer health insurance -- Medicare For All -- and the Insurance Cartel will have to focus on automobiles and home-owner's insurance to make their obscene profits.

  •  What Florida might do (0+ / 0-)

    to finance Medicaid expansion is to introduce taxes on health insurers (the Covered Lives Assessment) like New York State has.

    http://www.hvpress.net/...

    Florida might then do away with the county level hospital tax so the net taxes on Floridians won't go up by very much.

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