JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It is now time for Florida Governor Rick Scott to rethink his initial decision on the health care overhaul. Governor Scott says he does not support it. But if he chooses not to comply, Florida will likely remain in third place for having the most uninsured people in the nation.
There are more than three and a half million uninsured Americans living in the Sunshine State. That's 21 percent of Florida's population. And now, Governor Scott has to decide what to do about them.
"Florida is now faced with a choice as is every other state and the choice is this: we do not have to accept the funding that comes with the expansion of the medicaid act," said Jennifer Millis with Florida Coastal School of Law.
In the past, the Governor has ordered the state not to accept federal money to implement the law. He's rejected or returned more than $110 million.
But now that the Supreme Court had it's say, it is back to the drawing board. Millis says the state gets a shot at changing it's decision.
"Before yesterday the question was if they decided not to do that would they lose all their medicaid funding? That was a big issue before but the Supreme Court said and believe unanimously no you can't do that."
Because Governor Scott didn't think this would be the end result, Millis says Florida is now potentially behind in preparing for how to proceed.
"My concern is that Governor Scott is not going to do anything until after the November election with the hopes that a new congress and potentially new president would strike down the entire thing so they don't have to comply. It's a risky proposition to wait because time is of the essence because part of the act is going to start kicking in."
Millis says another option Florida has is to call a special session. She doesn't think that's probable before the election but says that may be the best way to decide how the state should move forward.There is no clear deadline yet as to when states have to make their final decision. Millis tells Action News she expects the Department of Health and Human Services to start giving states guidelines as to when to opt in our out soon.