State News
6:17 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Scott’s Medicaid Expansion Estimates Under Question

Florida Governor Rick Scott is getting some flak for using what some are saying is an inflated estimate when talking about the expected state cost of expanding Medicaid under the Federal Affordable Care Act. 

The Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy has released a report with several estimates for the cost Florida faces under the expansion. Prices range from the group’s own estimate an average of $270-million per year to the number the governor has been using—an estimate from the state’s Agency for Healthcare Administration—of more than $2-billion per year for the next ten years. The Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy’s director, Karen Woodall, says the difference in cost comes from a difference in the assumptions in each group’s calculations.

“You would have to question, what’s driving that assumption. So, that’s why we felt it was important to not just make a statement that we think these figures are inflated, but to show why they were different."

Meanwhile, the news organization Health News Florida says it has uncovered an e-mail chain showing Scott’s office has been warned by budget analysts their numbers might not be accurate, but the governor has kept using them anyway.

The governor’s office released a statement Tuesday evening acknowledging the difference in assumptions used to calculate some cost estimates and saying they "look forward to reviewing those cost estimates as well."

For more news updates, follow Regan McCarthy on twitter @Regan_McCarthy