Governor Rick Scott's Communications Director, Melissa Sellers, released the following statement today on the cost estimates projected by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) that the Governor discussed with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius yesterday. (The full AHCA cost projection is available here: http://ahca.myflorida.com/medicaid/pdffiles/SSEC_ACA_12-17-12_Medicaid_Estimates.pdf.)
"The discussion underway now about the cost of adding people in Medicaid under the new healthcare law is incredibly important. Gov. Scott is focused on improving the cost, quality and access of healthcare for Florida families. When he met with Sec. Sebelius yesterday in Washington, they discussed the AHCA cost estimate report and the Governor's concerns about how taxpayers could afford to nearly double the number of people in Medicaid.
"AHCA's report concluded that adding people to Medicaid under the new law would cost Florida $26 billion over 10 years. Others have asked AHCA to use different assumptions to calculate different cost estimates. We look forward to reviewing those cost estimates as well.
"There are three things the Governor has stressed that remain unchanging in this important discussion about cost estimates. First, growing government is never free. Second, the number of people in Medicaid would nearly double with the new law (from approximately 3.3 million today to over 6 million). And third, once government grows, it is almost never undone. The fiscal cliff debate in Washington is proof enough of that. Additionally, as the AHCA report points out, federal projections on growing government have a long history of being much lower than actual costs.
"Beyond understanding the cost of adding people in Medicaid, the Governor believes it is important that any healthcare decision improve the quality of services available to Floridians at a cost they can afford."