Tampa, Jan 7 - Gov. Rick Scott and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius met today to discuss Medicaid expansion and health policy issues in the state of Florida. U.S. Congresswoman Kathy Castor released the following statement:
"Floridians expect their Governor to work in their best interests. Expanding Medicaid in the state of Florida is important to Floridians, is important to hospitals, is important for jobs and is vital to our economy. I am disappointed that Gov. Scott released such flawed cost estimates relating to expansion of Medicaid. Gov. Scott overstated the costs and left out savings. Expanding Medicaid is estimated to bring more than $20 billion to Florida over the next decade, according to the Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy in Tallahassee. It would be unconscionable for Gov. Scott to send such substantial monies and associated jobs to other states."
"Unfortunately, since Gov. Scott took office, our state has developed a reputation for sending federal dollars back to Washington. We need these federal dollars right here in the state of Florida, helping Floridians. Floridians with health insurance subsidize health care for those who do not have health insurance. Expanding Medicaid will take the burden off of Florida families and bring greater rationality to medical services in Florida. Having more people covered as a result of the Medicaid expansion and other provisions of the Affordable Care Act will reduce state and local governments' current spending on other services for the uninsured. Medicaid expansion will significantly increase coverage at a modest cost to states and will help reduce the state's costs for providing care to the uninsured."
"I am also greatly concerned about Gov. Scott's push to privatize Medicaid for seniors, children, the disabled and others. The governor has been moving aggressively to shift older and disabled Floridians currently in community-based care and long-term care into capitated managed care with little oversight or assurances that our neighbors will not lose access to the nutrition, therapy and care they need. Floridians must be concerned about what appears to be a diminution of care and vital services that older Floridians rely on."
See CastorJanuary 7, 2012 letters to Secretary Sebelius. Castor letter to Sec. Sebelius re: Waiver.
Castor serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee which has oversight of national health policy, the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid.
Read this original document at: http://castor.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=316463