Governor Rick Scott of Florida has announced this afternoon that he supports accepting federal funding to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In this afternoon’s press conference Scott stated in a news release:
While the federal government is committed to paying 100 percent of the cost of new people in Medicaid, I cannot, in good conscience, deny the uninsured access to care. We will support a three-year expansion of our Medicaid program under the new healthcare law, as long as the federal government meets their commitment to pay 100 percent of the cost during this time.
Scott’s decision comes nine days after Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew testified before the Florida Select Committee on Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, discouraging an expansion and providing information about Maine’s past Medicaid expansions. During her testimony she said that the expectation of expansion was the state would see a reduction in charity care and the number of uninsured; but that neither goal was achieved.
Mayhew stated that “the cost for Maine would be significant. At this point this administration is not in a position to move toward expansion.” Mayhew expressed concerns over the commitment of the federal government to fund the expansion saying that “it is difficult for this state to look out and believe that in 10 months time, 11 months time, this Medicaid money will flow from the federal government.”