Florida under unpopular Republican Governor Rick Scott (left) is proof of the disconnect between right-wing ideology and the needs of everyone but the wealthy. The Sunshine State has huge problems with joblessness, lack of health insurance and the budget. Millions in federal health care grants could alleviate all three issues. There's one problem: Scott and his fellow Republicans, who no doubt don’t have to worry about medical care, are so offended by the Affordable Care Act that they are refusing the funds that so many desperately need:
...Despite having the country’s fourth-highest unemployment rate, its second-highest rate of people without insurance and a $3.7 billion budget gap this year, the state has turned away scores of millions of dollars in grants made available under the Affordable Care Act. And it is not pursuing grants worth many millions more.
In recent months, either Gov. Rick Scott’s administration or the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature has rejected grants aimed at moving long-term care patients into their homes, curbing child abuse through in-home counseling and strengthening state regulation of health premiums. They have shunned money to help sign up eligible recipients for Medicare, educate teenagers on preventing pregnancy and plan for the health insurance exchanges that the law requires by 2014.
...the Legislature failed to authorize an $8.3 million federal grant won by a county health department to expand community health centers.
...Florida declined to participate in a Medicaid pilot program that would have authorized up to $2 million in reimbursement to providers using a new hospice model for severely ill children. The state insurance commissioner applied to the Obama administration for a waiver from this year’s requirement that health insurers spend at least 80 percent of premium revenue on medical care...
...“It’s simply unconscionable that they’re turning back federal tax dollars that our citizens and businesses pay and sending those tax dollars to other states,” said Representative Kathy Castor, a Democrat who represents the Tampa Bay area. “Florida’s economy has been hit very hard, and we need every dollar and every job in our state.”