In an interview with The Palm Beach Post, Gov. Rick Scott said that the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform bill passed by Congress and signed into law in 2010, is “not the law of the land.”
Federal officials and health care advocates have long criticized Florida officials for not planning for or implementing parts of the law. The state has shunned million of federal dollars for public health programs to signal the state’s political opposition to the law.
Florida is currently leading the legal challenge to the law, which is set to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in the spring of 2012. Scott told the Post “in an editorial board interview Thursday” that he was sure Florida and the other 26 other states challenging the law would prevail in the legal dispute.
During a town hall hosted by Florida health advocates earlier this month, Anton Gunn, the regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, expressed frustration with the state of Florida for falling so far behind in implementing mandates from the law. Mostly, he said, the state was acting as if Affordable Care Act was not currently in place.
“This is the law of the land,” Gunn said. “Everyone needs to remember that.”
Scott says differently.
“It’s not the law of the land,” he told the Post. “I don’t believe it will ever be the law of the land.”
According to a recent poll of “opinion leaders” in health policy and innovators in health care delivery and finance, almost 90 percent of respondents believe state lawmakers should be implementing the health care reform law.
Many provisions of the law have already been implemented. For example, a measure allowing young people under 26 years of age to stay on their parent’s insurance has already helped about 1 million young adults find health insurance all over the country.