Rick Scott Used Fake Medicaid Numbers To Veto ACA Expansion - Updated
Memo to Rick Scott: Of all the wingnut governors, you are the most evil, corrupt, and disgusting. Your latest nonsense proves it.
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.
Yes, that shoots right up to the top of the wingnut hit parade list. At this point, Gollum ranks higher on my list than you do, Governor Scott. After robbing Medicare the way you did, you're the least credible when it comes to health care costs, but damn if you don't keep after it, anyway.
Here's how it works: Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid reimbursements go way up for the first few years, up to 90 percent of the total cost of new insureds covered under the Medicaid expansion. The only reason states wouldn't receive those funds would be because they decide they're not going to accept Medicaid funding under the ACA.
With that in mind, this could possibly be the lamest excuse I've ever heard for using numbers that are quite simply incorrect, because they assume that only 58 percent is reimbursed by the federal government:
But Michael Anway, Scott’s new coordinator for health policy and budget, sent an e-mail Friday to the others saying he will submit the original estimates as an “alternative forecast” when the revised AHCA report comes before the next budget estimating conference.
Anway said he doesn’t believe the federal funds will come through. “The federal government has a $16 trillion national debt, must borrow 46 cents of every dollar it spends, and in 2011 had its credit rating downgraded for the first time in history,” he wrote in explanation.
That's just right-wing crap. The real reason these contemptible trolls don't want to budget for the expansion is because they want to rebel against anything that might help poor and needy people. In fact, this is probably more likely to happen:
Two other recent studies, by Georgetown and University of Florida researchers, found a net gain to the state from Medicaid expansion.
This is the state governed by the man who bilked so much from Medicare that his company was forced to agree to a $1.7 billion fine, which represented only a fraction of what he actually stole. Yet, voters elected him, and now they're stuck with Governor Gollum, who thinks it's just too expensive to cover poor people in his state and would rather leave them in a gutter to die.
There is a tiny glimmer of hope for Florida. I see where his approval ratings are sagging in key areas. Democrats should get their act together and get a viable candidate in there to challenge him sooner rather than later. Whether it's Crist or someone else, time is of the essence.
Update: Oh, NOW the strategy emerges. Via Mother Jones, news that Ricky wants to make a deal.
Last June, after the Supreme Court decision making the Medicaid expansion optional for the states, Scott said he won't take the money. But when Florida hospitals realized Scott's decision could cost them about $650 million a year in other federal payments, they started lobbying furiously to get him to change his mind. So now, after two years suing, demonizing and otherwise attacking President Barack Obama and the Democrats' health care bill, Scott wants to negotiate. He came to Washington saying that he'd like to "work with the administration to reduce the cost of health care." But that doesn't mean he's changed his mind.
Instead, what Scott wants from Kathleen Sebelius, Obama's secretary of health and human services, is something that might actually make Florida’s dismal insurance situation—nearly 4 million Floridians are uninsured—even worse. Scott wants the Sebelius to give him official permission, called a waiver, to hand over the entire existing Medicaid program to private managed care companies. Don't count on that happening.
He's also asked Sebelius to allow Florida to charge all Medicaid patients unprecedented co-pays, such as $100 for emergency room visits not deemed an emergency, plus $10 monthly premiums. The Georgetown Health Policy Institute concluded that such a change would prompt about 800,000 poor parents and children to leave the program, an outcome that flies in the face of the administration's goal of extending Medicaid in the first place. After Monday's meeting with Sebelius, Scott said he was optimistic that he'd get what he wanted, or at least another meeting. Given his track record, he probably shouldn't hold his breath.
I'd like to imagine Secretary Sebelius laughing a loud, long belly laugh as Ricky left the building. What a cynical, moneygrubbing goon he is.
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