From the News Service of Florida’s Christine Sexton, 04/18/2018:
As Scott’s administration this week submits a request to the federal government to trim the amount of time people have to apply for Medicaid coverage, the state’s estimate of $98 million in savings associated with the change has come under fire from health-care providers who contend the impact is much greater. Providers also allege that the number of people impacted will exceed the 39,000 projected by the state.
The providers’ arguments are bolstered by a 2017 letter sent to the federal government by the secretary of Scott’s Agency for Health Care Administration. The letter described savings associated with the change as high as $500 million.
That contradiction, however, is not the first time that a Medicaid cost analysis by the Scott administration has been called into question since he became Florida’s chief executive officer in 2011.
“I would say that Governor Scott’s Medicaid numbers should be carefully and independently analyzed,” said Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families who has extensively studied Florida’s Medicaid program. “I certainly regard them with a healthy degree of skepticism.”
Scott, who is running this year for U.S. Senate, made his fortune in health care and understands its many nuances. He led the Columbia/HCA hospital company before it forced him out amid an investigation into federal health care fraud. Scott was never charged in the case, but the company paid a then-record $1.7 billion fine.