A number of states are still reluctant to accept that this summer’s positive Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act combined with Barack Obama’s decisive win in the election ensures that ObamaCare is, and will continue to be, the law of the land. Governors in Florida, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nebraska have all stated that they are unwilling to implement essential parts of the health care law. Specifically, they are refusing to set up health insurance exchanges and expand the Medicaid program as stipulated by the ACA.
And now comes news that after strong opposition to the health care law, Florida’s Rick Scott has begun to change his tune.
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.
I don’t think anyone involved in trying to improve health care should say ‘no, no, no. Let’s have a conversation.
That might be the first intelligent thing Rick Scott has said as governor and it should be welcome news to the 25 percent of uninsured in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale corridor who struggle through life with no health insurance. Scott’s reversal follows a Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute report that concludes that there is a substantial financial benefit to be had by states like Florida that implement the law.
The researchers determined the state could save up to $100 million a year because allowing people to join Medicaid would reduce the financial burden on other state-funded safety net programs.
“It is time for Florida’s elected officials to take a serious look at this option,” said Joan Alker, research associate professor at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute. “Our study found that the state can actually save money while ensuring that a million Floridians can get the health coverage they desperately need. And this decision affects all Floridians as Florida’s hospitals will be put in jeopardy if the state does not move forward.”
This report is as good a reason as any for Scott and other governors to work with the feds on implementing the ACA. But the real kicker here, I think, is the slow realization that their president is not Mitt Romney. It’s Barack Obama.
If Romney had won, it’s anyone’s guess as to how successful Republicans would have been in repealing ObamaCares. What you can be certain of is that there would have been at least four years of congressional efforts to defund the law and to hold back its implementation. That’s not going to happen now. There will still be some griping and reluctance on the part of those like Rick Perry who again stated this week that Texas will not take part in setting up the insurance exchanges, but as Rick Scott discovered, there’s some stuff in life that’s inevitable. And one of those inevitable concepts is the idea that decent health care should be affordable and available to every citizen, no matter how poor they are or where they live.
Elections really do have consequences.