Florida Policymakers United Against Year Old Health Law
One year ago today, President Obama stood in the East Room of the White House before 22 pens, alongside a boy whose uninsured mother had died of cancer.
As the president prepared to use each pen to sign the landmark health care bill into law, Obama declared that America had, at long last, enshrined “the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care.”
Minutes later, Florida’s attorney general filed a constitutional challenge, fixing Florida’s place in history, too – as the state most energetically focused on undoing the health law.
“We realized the costs to Florida would be astronomical, primarily through the expansion of Medicaid,” the safety net for the poor, recalled Bill McCollum, then Florida’s attorney general .
A year later, Florida’s lawsuit has attracted 25 states . The states won their first court appearance and have a date in federal appeals court. The state’s insurance commissioner has asked for a waiver from some insurance rules. Gov. Rick Scott has ordered agencies to spend “not one dime” implementing the law and wants the state to be exempted from the law’s 2014 provisions and given a grant instead.
The president has signaled his willingness to let states have that chance so long as they cover as many people with equivalent benefits.