Today was the initial deadline for states to declare whether they will set up a state healthcare exchange, and Florida Governor Rick Scott continues to walk the middle ground.
“The official response is gunna be ‘I wanna sit down with you’,” says Scott.
Scott says there are still too many questions remaining about how much a state exchange will cost, who is going to shoulder that cost, and what benefit- if any- it would have on state families.
“They need lower healthcare costs, they need improved access and improved outcomes,” he says.
Scott’s letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today comes with the original deadline set to notify the federal government on state intent. That deadline has since been extended to next month. In that time, Scott requests a meeting between the two in order to “work together on solutions.”
“The only way I’ve ever gotten anything done in life is to sit down with people and see if there’s any common ground,” he says.
While Scott, in the letter, says there is not enough evidence at this point to support an exchange, he is not closed to the idea.
“If there was a way to do an exchange that reduced the cost of healthcare, improved the quality of healthcare- I’d be interested in doing it,” he says.
For now, Scott awaits her response to that invitation.
Under the Affordable Care Act, if a state does not elect to set up a state health care exchange, the federal government will by default.