In a recent interview with iVillage, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius discussed Gov. Rick Scott’s decision to turn down millions from the Affordable Care Act for the state of Florida.
“I think it’s unfortunate,” she said, according to the website.”We have certainly seen this play out here in Washington in the past month or two, where there are some newly elected officials on the Republican side that have decided that their political ideology is more important than anything — more important than the health needs of their citizens, more important than the economic stability of the economy, more important than the future of jobs in America — so I think it is very unfortunate for citizens of Florida. It is very troubling for someone to suggest that they will not accept the resources that Congress wisely put forward so that states could really become the implementers of this bill.”
The Florida GOP has recently received attention for the state’s refusal to accept millions from the Affordable Care Act for child abuse and neglect prevention. Scott actually approved the Florida Department of Health’s request for the funds, but the GOP-led Legislature decided it didn’t want to accept the money because the state is in litigation as lead plaintiffs against the federal government over the constitutionality of health care reform.
Sebelius told iVillage there are some little-discussed consequences to the state not accepting money from the law.
“The irony in the way the law is written is that if Governor Scott chooses in Florida not to move ahead,” she explained, “the Affordable Care Act directs the Department of Health and Human Services to [implement it]. So the citizens of Florida will have the advantage of an exchange… The women of Florida will have the same kind of preventive health plans that everyone else will around the country.”
“The governor has really just ceded his own authority to the federal government,” she said, according to iVillage. “Kind of an irony for someone who believes that the states should be deciding what’s going on.”