“Here in Louisiana, look, we refused to set up the exchange. We’re not
going to start implementing Obamacare,” Jindal told POLITICO. “We have
not applied for the grants, we have not accepted many of these dollars, we are not implementing the exchanges, we don’t think it makes any sense to implement Obamacare in Louisiana.”
Scott said the governors arrived at the same conclusion that expanding Medicaid and creating exchanges are not good for taxpayers.
“We care about the citizens of our state,” he said. “We know this will be bad for our health care. We want jobs in our state. This is going to put American businesses at an unbelievable disadvantage as compared to businesses around the world.”
Scott cited the law’s requirement for businesses to offer insurance to employees. He told Van Susteren a story about a Florida business owner who said he may have to shut his doors.
“They walked up to me and they said, ‘Governor, is this really going to become the law? Because if it does, we’re out of business,’ ” Scott said. “ ‘We have 20 employees; we know we won’t be able to buy any health care for anybody.’ ”
But that’s not true. The law says companies with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from any requirement to buy insurance, and they’re also exempt from any fines associated with not buying insurance.
One of Scott’s biggest concerns is the cost of adding an estimated 1 million people to the Medicaid rolls.
“We can’t pay for that; there is no way Floridians can pay for that,” he said.
Democrat Rep. Pafford believes resisting the health care law is the wrong thing to do. Republican lawmakers should be embracing provisions that expand access to health care, he said, and new revenue streams like a tax on internet commerce could help pay for it.
“We can afford it,” he said. “There are plenty of ways to do that. They just don’t want to afford it.”
Because the Legislature sets the budget, it will ultimately decide whether or not to allocate money to implement provisions of the health care law.
Incoming Senate President Don Gaetz said he and incoming House Speaker
Will Weatherford will work with the governor’s office in reaching a final decision. But for now, they are waiting on staff to digest what the court ruling means and its impact, Gaetz said.
“It’s not a matter of not having made up my mind yet, it’s a matter that this 110-page opinion, which is nearly as complex as the law itself, is not 48 hours old yet,” said Gaetz, R-Niceville. “I believe in ‘ready, aim, fire,’ not ‘ready, fire, aim.’ ”
Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, said there isn’t an immediate need to move forward on implementing the law. There is no harm in waiting a few months to see if the outcome of the November election changes the political climate, he said.
“There is an opportunity to bring new leadership to the United States of America,” he said, “and if that happens it’s going to change everything.”
Times staff writer Angie Drobnic Holan contributed to this report.