Report: Florida Gov. Rick Scott Based Arguments on Faulty Medicaid Figures

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has said he does not want to expand Medicaid in Florida under the healthcare reform law because it is too expensive, but an investigation by Health News Florida found that Gov. Scott's Medicaid figures were wrong and based on a flawed report — but he continued to use the figures despite warnings about the inaccuracies.

Gov. Scott has said the Medicaid expansion under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would cost too much for the state: $63 billion over the next decade, with Florida footing $26 billion of the tab. However, Florida State Economist Amy Baker told Gov. Scott in several emails, obtained by Health News Florida, that his numbers were off. However, Gov. Scott still used the misleading statistics after the warnings in a recent newspaper op-ed and a press conference in Washington, D.C., according to the report.

The governor's numbers were based off a report from Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration. Other budget commissioners also said the report contained "faulty assumptions" on the costs of Medicaid expansion within Florida, and added that using the false costs would violate state law.

Since Health News Florida's initial report, Gov. Scott's office released a statement, saying: "AHCA's report concluded that adding people to Medicaid under the new law would cost Florida $26 billion over 10 years. Others have asked AHCA to use different assumptions to calculate different cost estimates. We look forward to reviewing those cost estimates as well."

Gov. Scott, the former CEO of for-profit hospital chain Columbia/HCA, now known as HCA, has been a vocal critic of several measures of the healthcare reform law.

More Articles on Florida Medicaid:

Florida Medicaid to Implement DRG Payments
Big Medicaid Changes May Be in Store for Florida in 2013
Which States Will Boost Medicaid Physician Pay the Most in 2013?

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