Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s ignorance about Obamacare will cause higher premiums for Floridians

scott_rickAnother day, another story about Republicans in yet another state displaying their ignorance about the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”).  And yes, yet another example where blatant Republican sabotage of the health care law will end up forcing Americans to pay more for health insurance.

This time it comes from the state of Florida, where Governor Rick Scott is no stranger to ignorance.  After all, this is the man who signed off on a bill recently that was so poorly worded, it essentially banned any device capable of connecting to the Internet in the state.

Well, apparently Rick Scott (like most Republicans) either willfully lied about the Affordable Care Act or is simply so ignorant about the rules that it’s terrifying he’s in any sort of leadership position at all.

See, what Rick Scott and his fellow Republicans assumed in Florida was that the federal government had the power under the Affordable Care Act to negotiate rates with insurance companies.

Except—the federal government doesn’t have that power under the law.

The law assumes that states would continue to handle insurance rates between the state and the insurance companies—just as they did before.  It’s a provision in the law which is meant to make the law work.  That is, of course, something Republicans don’t want to happen.

But these Florida Republicans apparently thought they would be clever.  So what they did was pass legislation which suspended for 2 years the requirement for insurance companies to get state approval for new insurance rates—stripping the Florida insurance commissioner from having the power to negotiate lower rates and refuse steeper ones.

Apparently they wanted to take a “jab” at the federal government.  Their belief seemed to be that if the federal government wanted to pass these new health care regulations, then let them worry about dealing with rate approval.

Except the Affordable Care Act doesn’t grant that power to the federal government, it’s still given to the state.  So basically, what Florida did was pass a piece of legislation at the end of May which allows insurance companies to operate in Florida for the next 2 years, hiking rates if they so wish, without any approval needed from the state.

All because Republicans in Florida (and pretty much everywhere), who wanted to play politics instead of govern, were too ignorant about the Affordable Care Act to know even the most basic rules about the law.

This has prompted Florida Representative Ted Deutch to write a letter to the federal government which asks the U.S. Health and Human Services Department to protect Florida consumers from partisan Republican antics.

Which, personally, I hope the federal government ignores.  Maybe it makes me a little cold, but the people of Florida elected these politicians—they should experience first hand the results that follow from voting for people like Rick Scott and these other Republicans.

But let’s look at Governor Rick Scott’s exact words following the signage of this bill:

“I support the Legislature’s deference to the federal government.  Rates for the new plans will be reviewed by the same federal government that will be enforcing and updating new rules and regulations throughout this very fluid and uncertain transition period.”

A power, once again, the federal government doesn’t have.

And in another fun tidbit found in Politifact’s fact check, Maryland (a state that’s actually trying to let the law work) successfully negotiated rates for next year’s premiums down by 33%.

Something that Florida, and other Republican controlled states, have chosen not to do.

Nothing quite like Republicans spending years lying about the law, complaining about the law, sabotaging the law—then having the nerve to come out and say, “See, rates are skyrocketing!”

Due in large part because of the partisan politics they’ve been playing since before the Affordable Care Act even became law.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • DJ

    Screw you! “Which, personally, I hope the federal government ignores.”
    Are you just as ignorant as that piece of garbage? We just lost that election by a slim hair. I appreciate the article but taking a stab at those who didn’t vote for this idiot is not needed nor wanted.

    • Tina Israel

      How else are they going to learn, DJ?

      • Jason K.

        There is no “they” and the collective people of Florida don’t need to “learn.” No population is homogeneous and saying that we all need to suffer for our candidate conceding the race is just as ignorant as the people who continually vote Republican.

  • A W

    Life long resident of Florida…..A wife to a State of Florida LEO…. We are sick of this man. He’s stripped jobs and money from teachers, state employees, education and special needs programs…. all the while coming up with ways to put money in his and his extended family’s pockets.

    • badgirl1971

      Hi I agree with you A W 100%, that is why I will be the first person at the polling place in 2014!!!

      • madangel

        Race you!

      • David_Biles

        I’m already in line, so I’m first. Couldn’t wait for 2014.

  • Sheila Kotze

    I didn’t vote for this jerk..

    • luv2dive

      Now you know how we feel about Obama.

      • vikingwarbrides

        Each to their own opinion, but when the dust settles, you will see that he did a pretty good job,

      • luv2dive

        Doubt it. If I don’t think he’s done any good in 5 years, I highly doubt he’ll do anything good in the next 3.

      • Kelly Carreno-Jack

        You only feel that way about THE PRESIDENT because Fox tells you to…sheeple, thats what you are, and ignorant at that.

      • luv2dive

        Keep drinking the kool-aid, Kelly.

  • grannygrey50

    I already knew what he was like. The hearings in TN when he was the CEO of HCA are public record and it shows what a sniveling idiot he is…and was then. We could not get people to hear..and they still don’t. The PeeParty down here is pulling a lot of purse strings, and many of them have ties to health care. Current Senate President Don Gaetz is one of them..and as long as I have known him, I never knew that until recently…


    In that picture of Rick Scott, he reminds me of the Nazi in Raider’s of the Lost Ark whose face started melting when he looked at the open Ark of the Covenant…LOL…and he appears to be just as smart, too!

    • Turner Jones

      We just call him “he who shall not be named” or Lord Baldemort.

      • citizen

        I prefer Governor Skelator

  • right is right

    If this wonderful obamacare is so so so great…..the WHY does obama, congress, the justice dept., the supreme court, federal judges, 1200 corporations & unions and their respective families get an exemption from it? HUH?

    • maxiemom

      Because unions and the corporations aren’t exempt: they have WAIVERS until 2014 Big difference!

      In the case of Congress and the federal employees you’re whining about, they have OTHER insurance already, and those premiums are what they will CONTINUE to use.

      Duh…. a little fact checking on the part of people like you goes a long way, that if, if you KNOW how to fact check.

      • cwadegen

        I didn’t know this until yesterday, but the Senate and the House and their staffs will go on Obamacare effective 1/1/2014. They will have to select their insurance plan from an exchange just like the rest without insurance.

      • maxiemom

        That’s just it: federal employees, including congressional staffers have always had different plans to choose from.

        Obamacare really doesn’t change insurance for companies and the like that already had insurance, but it will bring down the costs.

        The right wing hates ANYTHING that brings down costs, since it cuts into their dividends…..

        Of course, the sheeple are too dumb to even get that, they just believe what they’ve been fed…

    • John alessi

      that has nothing to do with the article, argue the article

      • Kelly Carreno-Jack

        Sure it does…pay attention

    • Kelly Carreno-Jack

      And why do you hide behind an avatar? Ashamed to show your face? They have to pay for their insurance at HIGHER costs, dipwad. Can’t figure that out?

  • Betsy Green-Robinson

    some of us Floridians did not vote for that jackass and take offense to your statement that we should have to deal with it because we elected him, I did not elect that moron

    • Bobenamy

      I feel your indignation… I live in Texas.

  • Donald Katterhenry

    Interesting, I haven’t met a person yet who has seen their rates drop

    • Adria Swartz Underwood

      Then they will get a refund check if it is not spent on their healthcare. That is part of the law. 80% has to go to healthcare costs or be refunded. And they have to show every penny, and are not allowed to charge you $200.00 for a box of mucus removal papers.

    • maxiemom

      Gee,…. I got a REFUND check for my son’s insurance from the company for the amount (percentage wise) that they OVERCHARGED each of their policyholders for their individual policies, since they now have to: spend a certain percent on actual healthcare costs; can make a set percent of profit; and have to refund the overage charged to each policy holder.

      So yes, insurance costs for everyone HAVE gone down.

    • Kelly Carreno-Jack

      Gee, you must live in a red state, where ALL the GOP Governors and Reps are FIGHTING The ACA….too bad we need to explain this to you folks, to stupid to FACTCHECK on your own…I would imagine

  • Julie Kinne

    If I could bring back my G.G.G, Uncle Ossian Hart 10th. Gov. of the state and ONLY FLORIDA born Cracker to hold the office he would tell him where and what to do. Sorry but Scott is a blooming IDIOT. this from a 6th generation Florida cracker, who is proud to be one.

  • Rose

    Guess who’s gonna take the blame for this. Because we all know they are gonna blame Obama for this smh

    • right is right

      and obummer is going to blame Bush…..again.

      • Adria Swartz Underwood

        And the ignorance comes out.

      • Cal D.

        “obummer will blame bush”. That the best you can come up with? Not surprised that you incapable of a sensible and/or logical comment.

      • Kelly Carreno-Jack

        STFU…Its President Obama, idiot troll

  • Galley_Queen

    Florida hasn’t had a good governor since Bob Graham. There was a Governor who knew what he was doing and brought many, many excellent electronics companies into the state. Those companies pay EVERYONE well, clean industry. I lived in Florida for 20+ years but I don’t regret leaving. And I won’t be back.

    • vikingwarbrides

      Bob Graham, Lawton Chiles… Both great governors… Alan Grayson would be a good governor, but I want him to run for POTUS someday.

  • JD

    Didn’t vote for him, but got stuck with him none-the-less.

  • Scott Bennett

    the problem being that if the federal government doesn´t intervene, and Florida rates do go up, the Republicans in Florida (and nation-wide) will point to the increase and blame Obamacare and the Democrats, not knowing (because Fox News wouldn´t have told them) that it is Rick Scott and his Teapublican cronies who are actually responsible – and they´ll believe it. Obamacare has enough of an uphill battle that we need every success story we can get, regardless of the opposition!

    • SyntheticPhylum

      On the upside, however, the rates in states that actually do things RIGHT will lower dramatically, proving to the masses that the fault actually lies with the batshit-crazy conservatives that are running things into the ground in THEIR state! Also, there will come a point (if it hasn’t already arrived, that is) when the Teapublican’s pack of lies will fall apart so badly that they CAN’T hide it anymore, and everyone who believed them will see how badly they’ve been fooled all this time!

    • badgirl1971

      Hi I agree with you 100%

  • GENLA99

    Won’t the 80% rule help hold down rates?

    • GOPslayer

      It will but not until after a year of paying the higher rate. In my opinion this was done intentionally to raise public sentiment against the ACA. People will see their rates increase and won’t take the time to understand the true reason why…..they will automatically blame Obama and the ACA. The Reich wing consistently relies upon the ignorance and laziness of their followers!!

  • Valerie

    Retired educator now living in Florida without health insurance……look you jackasses, quit screwing around with my ability to get health insurance at an affordable rate! We need to vote these morons out off office! man, am I pissed!

    • vikingwarbrides

      There is already a Democratic contender but I know nothing of her. Nan Rich. But heck, if Edward Snowden ran against Scott, I’d have to vote for him.

  • Rev Dr Stephen Wayles

    “There is only one thing that keep a man in everlasting ignorance, and that is contempt prior to investigation” Spencer The Governor and his friends and his party have intentionally not investigated Obamacare and they are contemptuous. Will they be everlastingly ignorant? Who knows- they’ve got a good start!

  • Papa Otter

    Take that Florida!…Says the man from Texas.

    • vikingwarbrides

      Them’s fightin’ words!!! 😉

      • Papa Otter

        Im not fighting anyone called vikingwarbrides!

  • Maria DelCoco

    Finding an issue where Scott ‘s basic ignorance doesn’t manifest itself is hard! He has consistently thrown the people of Florida to the wolves while lining his and his family’s pockets quite nicely. Between him and Rubio, Florida is overtaking TX and NC as America’s bastion of GOP extremism and short-sightedness. . OMG! I miss Charlie Crist! The next election can’t come soon enough. Start packing, you muppet-looking idiot-you are so outta here!

  • Daren J. Mongello

    You made a mistake: this was NOT ignorance. Scott’s team knew full well that passing such a law would hamstring rates for 2 years. A gift to his insurance industry brethren.

  • radsenior

    The best way to fix these problems is to V.O.T.E.(Vote Out The Encumberance) Repeat this procedure every voting cycle, in every local race, in every city, in every county or parish, in every state and every national election. Now we need to remove the obstacles – TEA party and Republicans standing in the way. There must be a concerted effort by students, women, blacks, Hispanics/Latinos and others of color to remove these obstructionist from office. The 2014 Mid-term is a-coming! As is 2016, and 2018! V.O.T.E.(Vote Out The Encumberance)

  • dr. C

    In a way that’s fair for Florida and other states in the GOP base. GOP stronghold states overwhelmingly receive about double the amount of taxes they put in. So if they pay more for healthcare via their own ignorance through whom they have elected, this will assure bigger profits for insurers, and these insurers will see bigger profits with 30 million new customers.

  • Felix Muñiz

    I live in Florida and I sure as hell did not vote for Rick Scot, I don’t deserve it when you say in your article:

    This has prompted Florida Representative Ted Deutch to write a letter to the federal government which asks the U.S. Health and Human Services Department to protect Florida consumers from partisan Republican antics.

    Which, personally, I hope the federal government ignores. Maybe it makes me a little cold, but the people of Florida elected these politicians—they should experience first hand the results that follow from voting for people like Rick Scott and these other Republicans.

    I did not vote for ANY REPUBELICANS and now I have to pay higher premiums and suffer?, Hell no. I hope Ted Deutch DOES accomplish this. Please don’t write divisive crap like this Mr. Allen Clifton!

  • TropicDave173

    “This has prompted Florida Representative Ted Deutch to write a letter to the federal government which asks the U.S. Health and Human Services Department to protect Florida consumers from partisan Republican antics.

    Which, personally, I hope the federal government ignores. Maybe it makes me a little cold, but the people of Florida elected these politicians—they should experience first hand the results that follow from voting for people like Rick Scott and these other Republicans.”
    Thanks, Allen. As a Democrat in FL-18 I can assure you I did NOT vote for these idiots. Or Allen West, Or Rick Scott. A lot of us didn’t. yet we who differ in our opinions will suffer for the ignorance and mindset of our fellow Floridians.
    Don’t lump us all together. There are millions of us here who have plenty of good common sense. And we won’t forget in 2014.

  • Steve

    Although it is true that the Feds are not authorized to negotiate rates, they can keep plans off the exchange. I would suggest they do so with any plans that are too far out of line. And yes, after the year, the % rule will result in rebates. Too bad Florida has to be a laughing point again, and again and again. Somebody voted for the guy. And he is not the only problem – he did write the bill or pass it through the legislature for his signature. We have a whole team of idiots here.

    • Steve

      meant to say he did not write the bill

    • vikingwarbrides

      The problem is that outside of South Florida and the I-4 corridor, most residents swing Republican. Republicans (tend to) vote for themselves because they don’t like change. Nothing can change that. President Obama could give every resident $100,000, and they would still vote Republican. There needs to be a strong Democrat from the North part of Florida with moderate opinions to sway the tide of undecideds and those that are willing to jump ship to avoid another disaster that Governor Scott has given us. If not, then it’s going to have to be a money battle…

  • Kelly Carreno-Jack

    What WILL happen is the people in Florida who are as ignorant as Rick Scott will continue to blame the President for this…not saying everyone in Florida is ignorant…just the bigoted Republicans….not the “old school Republicans” but apparently there are more ignorant ones than “old school” ones, because they voted this A-HOLE in to office

  • jane truman

    Yes, this ignoramus was elected governor of the state I live in, thanks for your kindness, encouragement and support for the millions of us who did not vote for a man whose healthcare company had cheated federal govt out of over $2 billion in healthcare dollars. You are not merely cold, you are an ass.

  • Walden

    As a nation, we like proclaim ourselves as the “leading light of the world”. Yet, this leading light is the only developed country in the world which can’t find a way to care for the health of its citizens. Neo cons., of course, say that it’s just too expensive. We can’t afford it. That’s just plain wrong. What America CAN NOT AFFORD is ignoring its people. Many of us wish we had the health care system that WE installed in Iraq. This is from the Iraqi constitution which the US “helped” to write in 2005. Article 31 of the Iraqi Constitution, drafted by our Constitutional Provisional Authority in 2005 and ratified by the Iraqi people, includes state-guaranteed (single payer) healthcare for life for every Iraqi citizen. Article 31 reads: “First: EVERY CITIZEN HAS A RIGHT TO HEALTH CARE. The State shall maintain public health and provide the means of prevention and treatment by building different types of hospitals and health institutions.” Are Iraqi citizens more valuable than American citizens? Neo cons. seem to think so.

    • Snuff

      Hey, very good point, Walden. During the reign of George the Idiotic at that!

  • citizen

    This should be expected from the man who’s company perpetrated one of the biggest Medicaid/Medicare scams ever