AFP Insists Florida Rejects a Health Insurance Exchange

November 19, 2012

-Support Means Higher Taxes and Premiums in Florida-

Tallahassee, Florida–Today Americans for Prosperity (AFP) the nation’s largest and most effective advocate for economic freedom released the following statement calling on state leaders to reject the state-based health insurance exchanges.

From AFP-FL’s State Director Slade O’Brien:

AFP is extremely disappointed in leaders in Florida suggesting that the Sunshine state should create a health insurance exchange.  An exchange will increase insurance premiums on consumers and taxes on hardworking families. Florida’s best intentions will be masked by the federal government’s onerous requirements.

Multiple governors have announced that they will not create an exchange. This list now includes Mike Pence (IN), John Kasich (OH), Robert Bentley (AL), Bobby Jindal (LA), Sam Brownback (KS), Rick Perry (TX), Nikki Haley (SC), Nathan Deal (GA), Robert McDonnell (VA) and Jay Nixon (MO). AFP supports these steps. However, last week statements from Representative Weatherford, Senator Gaetz and Governor Scott suggested that Florida is not on the same path.

“Numerous governors across the country are joining together to send a strong message to Washington to reject these flawed exchanges,” O’Brien continued. Weatherford,  Gaetz, and Scott’s statements sends the exact wrong signal. Florida should not agree to be the de-facto administrator of the federal government’s rules, regulations and mandates. In light of the recent election, it is clearly now up to the states to get our fiscal house in order. Succumbing to Washington largesse and regulation is the wrong path for Florida.”

The federal government is offering unlimited grants to states to create an exchange between now and the end of 2014. All exchanges must be self-funding starting in 2015. Each governor must notify the federal government by December 14, 2012, of his or her decision whether to create a state-based health insurance exchange, defer to the federal government or partner on a hybrid-exchange.

“Federal funds are flowing freely to buy state compliance, but state budgets will take the hit in two short years. Florida’s leaders are showing a real lack of resolve exchanging health care freedom for these temporary funds,” said Nicole Kaeding, AFP state policy manager.  “Creating an exchange puts state taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars every year.  Florida should reject these bloated bureaucracies.”

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