Florida Gov. Rick Scott has been digging in his heels and refusing to implement the Medicare expansion mandated by Obamacare because he says it will cost the state $26 billion over the next ten years.
Except, as Health News Florida says, he’s citing a flawed report.
The state’s chief economist has warned the staff of Gov. Rick Scott that his Medicaid cost estimates are wrong, but Scott keeps using them anyway, according to a series of e-mails obtained by Health News Florida
Scott says he opposes expanding Florida Medicaid because it would cost too much: $63 billion over 10 years, he says, with the state paying $26 billion of that.
But those numbers are based on a flawed report, according to a legislative budget analyst and State Economist Amy Baker. A series of e-mails obtained by Health News Florida shows the analysts warned Scott’s office the numbers were wrong weeks ago, but he is still using them. He cited them in a Tampa Bay Times op-ed on Sunday and at at a Washington press conference on Monday.
What’s more, he’s basing it on the assumption that the feds won’t keep up their end of the bargain. That could happen… if the Republicans in Congress refuse to vote the money for it. The Department of Self-Fulfilling Prophecies is on Line 1.
How far off are Mr. Scott’s cited numbers?
Truth is, the most authoritative estimate of state costs associated with the Medicaid expansion, from the Kaiser Family Foundation, put Florida’s costs at $1 billion over ten years, and that doesn’t even include potential savings from costs currently incurred by the state in uncompensated care for the uninsured.
So Scott’s costs estimates are off a mere 96%, at least.
Not exactly a rounding error. And, just to remind you, Mr. Scott gained his fame and fortune by running a healthcare business.