Florida's Scott Still Spurns Fed Aid in Healthcare Fight

Wednesday, 08 Jun 2011 02:11 PM

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Republican Gov. Rick Scott of Florida has rejected $19 million in federal aid so far as part of his challenge to the national healthcare overhaul. And he is holding off on creating a statewide insurance-coverage exchange the new law mandates, the St. Petersburg Times reports.

Rick Scott, healthcare, floridaScott’s approach differs sharply from that of other plaintiffs in the court challenge to the Affordable Care Act who are suing to overturn the law but are spending the grants, setting up the exchanges, and participating more fully in other federal health initiatives.

Texas, for example, has accepted $276 million to insure early retirees who don’t qualify for Medicare. Florida has taken $15 million under the same program, and it plans to accept a $37 million bequest approved by then-Gov. Charlie Crist, but it is eligible for more.

In Pennsylvania, 2,684 residents with pre-existing conditions have federally funded, state-administered health coverage. In Florida, 770 residents are enrolled in the same plan, which the state has declined to run.

Scott has said Florida doesn’t oppose individual programs but rather, objects to the national health law’s core requirement that people buy coverage or pay penalties, and therefore he won’t implement the law until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on whether it is constitutional.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta was hearing arguments today in the suit that 26 states have joined against the federal government.

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