JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Fresh off a trip to Washington D.C. to meet with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Governor Rick Scott stopped in Jacksonville.
Action News met up with him and asked the Governor about a statement he’s been recently under fire for, an estimate that the federal health care overhaul will cost state taxpayers $26 billion over the next 10 years.
"Here are the facts, I've not found a government program that didn't cost something,” Scott said Wednesday.
Action News has learned Gov. Scott got that $26 billion figure from an estimate made by Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration. The Governor claims the Affordable Care Act will double the number of Medicaid recipients in our state and he fears Florida can’t afford that.
"My concern is I don't want to create a program that Florida taxpayers, Florida families can't afford,” Scott said.
But according to the Associated Press, internal emails show the state’s top economist and a legislative budget analyst challenged his billion dollar figure.
In addition, PolitiFact
ruled it completely false. The newspaper reported, “Scott and his staff are making assumptions about a study, even though they were notified that the assumptions were questionable. Yes, Medicaid expansion could include additional costs to the state, but the federal government will shoulder most of the burden under the federal health care law. We rate this False.”
But standing in front of our cameras today, the Governor stood behind his remarks.
"There are going to be a lot of different projections that people put out. The Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration put out their estimate,” Scott said, “We have to have a safety net, we've got to have a safety net we can afford."
Scott said he pushed Sec. Sebelius to approve the state’s proposals to change its Medicaid program. He called his meeting in D.C. “hopefully productive.”
The Obama administration says the Affordable Care Act would give more than a million Floridians access to health insurance.