U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor said today she is outraged by information that demonstrates Gov. Scott was warned by the state's top economist that the numbers he was using were wrong relating to the cost of Medicaid expansion. Gov. Scott presented flawed cost estimates to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at their meeting yesterday in Washington.
"Not only did Gov. Scott manufacture flawed cost estimates, but it appears he had been advised that the numbers were flawed and used them anyway," Castor said. "Florida Legislative Appropriations staff advised the governor's office that the numbers were misleading, but it appears that the governor ignored it."
Castor also cited a Health News Florida report this morning that the state's chief economist warned Scott's staff that his Medicaid cost estimates were wrong. Castor has obtained and reviewed the emails.
"Clearly this was not a mistake," Castor said. "Knowing that the numbers are wrong and using them anyway is."
A previous state estimate and a number of independent analyses on the costs and savings of Medicaid expansion in Florida contradict the governor's inflated numbers. "Governor Scott overstated the costs and left out the savings," Castor said. "Now it is clear that Florida's own budget experts agreed with the other assessments and the governor proceeded anyway with his flawed numbers and reasoning."
A number of non-partisan non-profit groups have written different analyses of the direct cost and savings to the state of expanding Medicaid and none of their results come close to supporting the governor's outrageous cost estimate.