Feb. 21—Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced he would now support expansion of Medicaid, hours after the state received a second waiver from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to privatize its existing Medicaid program. The state legislature must still approve Medicaid expansion.
Scott, a Republican, has been a vocal opponent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and had previously opposed expanding Medicaid in Florida under the ACA. The federal government will pay 100 percent of the costs of Medicaid expansion during the first three years of the program and at least 90 percent afterward.
Scott agreed to Medicaid expansion after the HHS waiver—which allows Florida to privatize its Medicaid program to run as a managed-care plan so long as the state tracks quality metrics related to the program—was approved. A few weeks earlier, HHS granted the governor a waiver request regarding the state’s long-term care program.
Florida has one of the nation’s highest rates of uninsured residents. Medicaid expansion in Florida could extend coverage to at least 1 million people, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Publication Date: Thursday, February 21, 2013