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Posted at 2:55 PM ET, 02/ 2/2011

Vinson fallout: Florida returns $1 million in health care money to feds

By Greg Sargent

As I noted here yesterday, the risk in the wake of Judge Vinson's ruling is that state governments hostile to the Affordable Care Act might seize on the ruling in order to stop implementing the law. The question is whether any of these state officials will actually return or rebuff federal money the law affords their states.

Well, according to the St. Petersburgh Times, the administration of Florida governor Rick Scott is, in fact, jumping on the ruling to give back federal money it had received under the law:

In the wake of U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson's ruling that the federal health care legislation is unconstitutional, Florida insurance commissioner Kevin McCarty returned a $1 million federal grant awarded to the state to assist with reforms. The money would have paid for a system to provide information to consumers on the rates of large-group insurers.

"The purpose of this letter is to inform you that after deliberate consideration, I hereby rescind the acceptance of the above-referenced $1 million rate review grant, which occurred in a letter to you dated September 15, 2010. No drawdown of any of the $1 million will occur," McCarty wrote in a letter to ... the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Florida governor Rick Scott is also saying that the state will hold off on doing its part to implement the law until the Supreme Court rules, which could come as late as next year.

This comes after Wisconsin's attorney general said yesterday that as far as the state of Wisconsin is concerned, the Vinson ruling means the health law is "dead" and that state officials are under no obligation to implement it.

Now, the good news is that the situation is in flux, as Joan McCarter notes, and implementation is all but certain to proceed. What's more, some states that have sued to overturn the law are not willing to go as far as Florida and Wisconsin. Colorado's governor told the Post that he wouldn't do anything that might risk depriving people in his state with serious medical problems of their insurance.

"Who goes to these people," he said, "and tells them, 'Sorry, a judge in Florida has decided we now need to put you out in the cold?'"

Alas, state officials in Florida and Wisconsin who are hostile to the law already appear to be doing just that, and are explicitly using the ruling as a hook to deprive their own constituents of the law's benefits.

************************************************************

UPDATE, 3:13 p.m.: Maybe someone should ask Florida officials if they're going to give back any more of the millions and millions in federal grant money the state has already received under the law.

By Greg Sargent  | February 2, 2011; 2:55 PM ET
Categories:  Health reform  
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Comments

WOO HOO!!!

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 2, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Of course they will. It cuts into the Governors profits for the business he'll be running right after he fixes the system for himself as Gov.

I'm still perplexed how Florida could elect what is basically an ex-con to the Governorship.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 2, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"I'm still perplexed how Florida could elect what is basically an ex-con to the Governorship."

We'd elect Lady Gaga president if we could.

Posted by: sbj3 | February 2, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Who goes to these people," he said, "and tells them, 'Sorry, a judge in Florida has decided we now need to put you out in the cold?'"

"...and are explicitly using the ruling as a hook to deprive their own constituents of the law's benefits."

Shorter GOP: "What benefits?"

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 2, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Gov. Scott is "basically an ex con"?! What was Nelson Mandela?

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 2, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iz8fq23HwyY

Recall this exchange between Paul Ryan and Barney Frank.

Paul Ryan claimed that the Republicans had several bills that they would implement to fix health care, and make it more affordable, while providing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Ryan admitted that Republicans should have reformed health care, when they were in power.

Watch it again, and then start asking Paul Ryan:

Where's The Beef Now Paul, that you claimed that you had already stocked up on.

Show us the reform bills that you told Barney Frank you had already on the shelf, just waiting for the chance to be voted on.

Also see, if you can wake up Tim Kaine, and ask him if he can steer you to anyone who is not just a potted plant, to ask them why they are not beating Paul Ryan over the head, on a daily basis, with his own words to Barney Frank.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 2, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@Mike Perplexing to you...heartbreaking to me as a Floridian.

Rick Scott is really the lowest of scumbags.
He ran his hospital corporation so tightly that the hue and cry of damage to patient care by Scott's OWN EMPLOYEES led to an NBC investigation, among others, about whether healthcare was actually getting jeopardized by Scott's wreckless cuts.

Scott (oops his corporation he was only the CEO and since we know from the SCOTUS the Corps are people..that mean Corporate person) then illegally got Doctors to collude with them overbilling Medicare and Medicaid so severely that the person (Tricky Ricky's Corp..that person..not Tricky Ricky of course)they (it?) plead guilty and paid the largest Medicare fine in history...close to TWO BILLION.

And what did Tricky Ricky do with his ill gotten gains when his own board of directors fired him for his poor performance. First he invested millions as one of those who created the infamous astro turf groups again HCR. The fact that he had just launched a chain of walk in health care clinics of course had nothing to do with his position on universal coverage! snark snark.

When that failed he took 100 very large as in mill of his own money...rounded up those mental midget Florida teabagges and bought the Governors mansion.

Rick Scott is the opposite of the American Dream...he is the American nightmare exposing virtually everything that is wrong with our current plutocracy.

I will give Tricky Ricky credit for one thing. He WILL streamline our Gov't. Prior to Ricky we elected pols like Marco Rubio...they were the bag men for the special interests...they took the $$$ passed the laws and then immediately reaped the benefits with all manner of wonderful jobs from those same special interests which benefitted from those laws.
Rubio was particularly gifted in this area!
As he accumulated power, Rubio's income also grew. The $72,000 he made as a lawyer in 2000 climbed to $92,000 in 2003 then rose dramatically to $270,000 a year later, when he locked down the race to become House speaker. During the time, he was employed by three separate law firms.
In 2005, Rubio got a $300,000 job with Broad and Cassel, a large Miami firm that had done millions of dollars of legal work for the Florida House.

But Rubio was merely a bag boy for the special interests a go between...Tricky Ricky is streamlining that process he IS a special interest..and so here in Florida we've decided to stop electing crooked politicians who sell out to the special interests and simply turn the Governors Mansion directly to the special interests...who needs a middle man when you can simply cut to the chase and put the crook directly in office. You go Ricky boy!

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 2, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Don't answer the scumbag who does not know the difference between a freedom fighter/founding father, and a Ponzi Scheme Operator.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 2, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the administration should send out letters canceling these enrollments:

"190 Employers Enrolled in Early Retiree Reinsurance Program: The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP) provides much-needed financial relief to businesses, schools and other educational institutions, unions, State and local governments, and non-profits, in order to help retirees and their families continue to have quality, affordable health coverage. Find a list of organizations accepted into this program in your state here."

http://www.healthcare.gov/center/states/fl.html

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 2, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

When the Illinois Appellate Court dropped Rahm Emanuel from the Chicago mayoral ballot, he (or someone in his campaign) tweeted, under the name @RahmEmanuel: "Rahm on today's decision: I have no doubt that in the end we will prevail at this effort … This is just one turn in the road."

Another Rahm Emanuel, this one listed on Twitter as @MayorEmanuel, had a less measured response to that ruling: "Mother(expletive) (expletive) (expletive) (expletive) (expletives). What the (expletive) (expletive) mother(expletive) happened?!"

When the Illinois Supreme Court reinstated him a few days later, @RahmEmanuel returned to Twitter to declare: "The IL Supreme Court just ruled that Rahm will stay on the ballot. Thx for your support & let's get ready to vote!"

@MayorEmanuel tweeted: "MOTHER(EXPLETIVE) STREET LEGAL, (FEMALE DOGS)!"

The official Emanuel tweets sound like what you'd expect from a serious politician vying for high office, but @MayorEmanuel, written anonymously amid much

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 2, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

A good one STRF. Nurse Ratched went home early today, and left you alone in The Cuckoo Nest?

Posted by: Liam-still | February 2, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"Don't answer the scumbag who does not know the difference between a freedom fighter/founding father, and a Ponzi Scheme Operator."

I didn't know that Rick Scott used to run Social Security. ba dum ching

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 2, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

OT but interesting:

"PA launches pro-Mubarak demonstration in Ramallah

"... Sources in Ramallah said that the demonstration was initiated by the PA leadership, which has banned anti-Mubarak protests in the West Bank.

"... Fatah-controlled media outlets on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on ElBaradei, dubbing him a “war criminal” and holding him responsible for the Iraq war.

"... Abbas was one of few Arab leaders who earlier this week phoned Mubarak to express his solidarity with him against the uprising."

http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=206421

And this:

"Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday said during a speech at the Knesset that an "Egypt enshrined in democratic values will not constitute any threat to peace, but the opposite."

same paper (via hotair)

Posted by: sbj3 | February 2, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Another Dyslexic Conservative heard from. Ponzi schemes work on the basis of giving out far less than they collect.

According to your own Conservative Reps; Social Security gives out far more than it collects.

I wish you guys would get your acts together, instead of always tripping over your own Doublespeak.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 2, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Liam makes a good point upthread.

If the GOP goal really was to "repeal and replace", would they not stand to potentially pick up some votes in both House and Senate if they were to reveal an actual replacement?

We can only conclude that either they have no idea of what to "replace" ACA with, or they fear that the "replacement" they have in mind will be even more unpalatable than ACA.

I suspect it's the former; they don't have a plan because they don't believe there's a problem.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 2, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

There are over 18M Florida residents.

PelosiCare is CBO estimated to cost each individual an additional ~$1000 annually.

That's $1M versus $18B savings per year!

Sounds like a bargain.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 2, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

All, this is fun: A House GOPer really wants Dems to stop running ads accusing him of supporting spending cuts:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/house_goper_to_dems_please_sto.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 2, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Well ... Florida allows insurance companies to drop customers who have 'too many' doctors visits. It also allows insurance companies to drop doctors, from their plans, who exceed the parameters (tests, medications, etc) set by the companies.

So, it's no surprise. 'woo-hoo' someone said?!? Death panels and decisions by faceless bureaucrats, anyone? What's that Republican plan again ... Die Quickly ... right?

Posted by: AMviennaVA | February 2, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

@Liam. Dude, it was a joke.

Mr. Burns: So, what do you think of today's popular music scene.
Lisa: I think it distracts people from more important social issues.
Mr. Burns: My god, are you always on!?

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 2, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I suspect it's the former; they don't have a plan because they don't believe there's a problem.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 2, 2011 4:25 PM |

............
Except we have Paul Ryan on tape admitting that the old system was not working and had to be replaced, and he claimed that he and other Republican colleagues had the replacement solutions ready to be voted on. That was back before the current bill was passed, so Democrats need to pound on Paul Ryan to bring up his old bills for votes now.

The Democrats are still doing the same thing, that they did for the previous two years. Always playing defense, and never going on the attack.

Ryan's own words are a perfect cudgel for Democrats to beat him over the head with, day after day, and also to keep bringing up, on all their media appearances.

Michael Steele lost his job, and yet he is still more visible than Tim Kaine.

The Democrats appear to have no one in place to frame the issues, and capture the daily news cycles.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 2, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

clawrence12 @ February 2, 2011 3:36 PM wrote 'Gov. Scott is "basically an ex con"?! What was Nelson Mandela?'

Mandela was a freedom fighter against an oppressive regime, that did not allow him and people like him to vote, even. Perhaps Scott was the victim of oppressive Republican regimes here in the US, but then again, he is a Republican too!

Posted by: AMviennaVA | February 2, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

When the Illinois Appellate Court dropped Rahm Emanuel from the Chicago mayoral ballot, he (or someone in his campaign) tweeted, under the name @RahmEmanuel: "Rahm on today's decision: I have no doubt that in the end we will prevail at this effort … This is just one turn in the road."

Another Rahm Emanuel, this one listed on Twitter as @MayorEmanuel, had a less measured response to that ruling: "Mother(expletive) (expletive) (expletive) (expletive) (expletives). What the (expletive) (expletive) mother(expletive) happened?!"

When the Illinois Supreme Court reinstated him a few days later, @RahmEmanuel returned to Twitter to declare: "The IL Supreme Court just ruled that Rahm will stay on the ballot. Thx for your support & let's get ready to vote!"

@MayorEmanuel tweeted: "MOTHER(EXPLETIVE) STREET LEGAL, (FEMALE DOGS)!"

The official Emanuel tweets sound like what you'd expect from a serious politician vying for high office, but @MayorEmanuel, written anonymously amid much

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 2, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

@Liam. Dude, it was a joke.

Mr. Burns: So, what do you think of today's popular music scene.
Lisa: I think it distracts people from more important social issues.
Mr. Burns: My god, are you always on!?

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 2, 2011 4:31 PM

.......................

So was my reply.

I once saw a trio of women from Ireland perform at a music festival in Milwaukee. On the festival grounds was a booth with sign that said; Confession heard here; $5.00. One of the Irish performers went up to the booth girl, and said that is great; I always like to go to confession before performing, so this will save me a trip to church, so here is my $5.00 . Is the priest available now?

The booth girl started to stall, and mutter excuses; but the Irish women kept pushing for to have her confession heard.

Finally the girl said; you don't understand: this is set up as a joke.

The Irish performer replied; so was what I was doing.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 2, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

AMviennaVA, dude, it was a joke (although, between Mandela and Scott, only one of them went to prison for 27 years).

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 2, 2011 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm still perplexed how Florida could elect what is basically an ex-con to the Governorship.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 2, 2011 3:10 PM
=========================================

I'm still perplexed how the U.S. could elect what is basically a community organizer to the Presidency.

Posted by: Brigade | February 2, 2011 5:07 PM | Report abuse

My understanding of how Congress works is that they do a pretty good job of considering constitutionality of a bill. Most biolls do fall under the commerce clause and so this one does meet the test. Here is a brief discussion http://www.law.uchicago.edu/news/epstein-affordable-care-act-and-commerce-clause
that goes into this topic. I don't think Americans are aware of how they are being played by the Republicans.

Posted by: mcurtis3 | February 2, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Brigade is Plumline's lobotomized version of Nelson Muntz.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 2, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

mcurtis3, you are alleging that the federal district court judges (and, I assume any appellate court judges who vote to uphold) are part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy too?

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 2, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

clawrence12,

I do not recall typing the phrase "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy." I am concerned about the courts taking a partisan line rather than a constitutional one. Just read their opinions when they actually mention the tea party. Maybe you ought to parse the other partisans as well.

Don't fall into the debate trap of making assumptions about others based on the glasses you look through.

Posted by: mcurtis3 | February 2, 2011 7:02 PM | Report abuse

I am concerned about the liberals taking a partisan line rather than a constitutional one too. Glad we agree about that then.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 2, 2011 8:15 PM | Report abuse

clawrence12,

I do not see health care as a partison issue. Everyone gets ill and some can afford care more than others. We may find out that those who do get ill will pass their disease onto all camps. So to blame "liberals" or "conservatives" helps none of us. It is time for adults to leave the play ground and hold those you elected to task for the good of all Americans.

We are stuck with what we have sewn here with the children we've elected or even those they have appointed to various positions. Remember, it was the Republicans who claimed that the Constitution was not considered when the bill was passed and that was lie.

Thanks.

Posted by: mcurtis3 | February 2, 2011 8:25 PM | Report abuse

You should Google: Pelosi Constitution ObamaCare

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 2, 2011 9:40 PM | Report abuse

[Greg updates: "Maybe someone should ask Florida officials if they're going to give back any more of the millions and millions in federal grant money"]

Greg's source cites "$71.4 million in new grant funding in Florida".

There are over 18M Florida residents.

PelosiCare is CBO estimated to cost each individual an additional ~$1000 annually.

That's $71.4M versus $18B savings per year.

Still a bargain for the several states.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 3, 2011 9:04 AM | Report abuse

This all demonstrates the snake-oil that PelosiCare peddles.

They "give" us a penny (of our own money!) for every tax-dollar they take.

And the benefit? Just wait until you see the trade-offs in quality healthcare service for DMV-style government service.

Sneak thievery, masquerading as "compassion."

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 3, 2011 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Greg writes: "Now, the good news is that the situation is in flux, as Joan McCarter notes, and implementation is all but certain to proceed."

The GOOD news? Wow, nice objectivity.

You shill for Obama and his unconstitutional health care law with the fervor of a schoolgirl at a Justin Bieber concert.

Posted by: UponFurtherReview | February 3, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

clawrence12 wrote: "mcurtis3, you are alleging that the federal district court judges (and, I assume any appellate court judges who vote to uphold) are part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy too?"

It's no accident that the healthcare bill was challenged in the most conservative district courts possible. That doesn't make it a vastrightwingconspiracy. That makes it a partisan legal strategy by ultra-conservative Republican Attorneys Generaly like Ken Cuccinelli.

Posted by: RufusPlimpton | February 3, 2011 1:36 PM | Report abuse

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