Video: Gov. Scott, citing cost, remains skeptical of federal health care changes
WASHINGTON — Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Monday that he had a "great conversation" with the Obama administration's health secretary, continuing to project openness toward a health care law he once fiercely opposed and used as a springboard to political office.
But Scott emerged from the meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius with the same concern about the cost of expanding Medicaid and resistance to partnering with the federal government on a health care exchange, of which the state has already missed a December deadline.
"I want the right health care safety net for our citizens, but whatever we do, it's got to be a program that works for Florida," the governor told reporters. "We cannot have an adverse impact on access to quality health care or the cost of health care." (full story here)
Below, HHS take on the meeting.
"Secretary Sebelius was pleased to meet with Governor Scott today to discuss the health care law and the substantial resources and flexibility states have when implementing the law. The Secretary pledged to continue to work with the state on the Governor’s proposed changes to the Medicaid program. The Secretary also talked to Governor Scott about other opportunities the Administration has created that states like Florida can implement to improve care and lower costs, in particular, a program to better coordinate care for people eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, as well as federal grants for states to improve health and wellness in their communities. The Secretary noted that Florida has the third-highest rate of uninsured residents, and reminded the Governor that more than 1.2 million Floridians will have access to high quality affordable health insurance if he chooses to expand Florida’s Medicaid program. The Secretary reiterated that the federal government will cover 100 percent of the cost of insuring these Floridians for the first three years and 90 percent of the costs in the future. Secretary Sebelius encouraged Governor Scott to work in partnership with the federal government to run the new health insurance marketplace, which will deliver quality, affordable coverage to Florida consumers. She also reiterated her commitment to flexibility as HHS works with states to continue implementing the Affordable Care Act."