Rick Scott: Health Reform Is Not The Law Of The Land Until SCOTUS Upholds Its Constitutionality

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) has rejected millions in grants from the Affordable Care Act, arguing that the law is unconstitutional and unsustainable. But during an editorial meeting with the Palm Beach Post yesterday, Scott went even further, claiming that the ACA won’t become the law of the land until — and unless — the Supreme Court upholds its constitutionality:

“It’s not the law of the land,” Scott said. “I don’t believe it will ever be the law of the land.” And if the Supreme Court upholds the law next year? Scott said Florida will be ready. “If it’s the law of the land, of course” Florida will implement it, he said. “If it’s the law of the land we will be ready.”

Where will the money come from? The budget, he said. But he won’t like it. “Obamacare overpromises, it overpays providers, and it rations care,” he said. “This act is going to cause the cost of health care to go up; it’s going to ration care, and the state obligations for Medicaid will kill jobs.”

It’s a convenient new standard that meets Scott’s ideological needs, but severely disadvantages the state of Florida — which has the third highest uninsurance rate in the country and a $3.7 billion budget gap. Floridians will face an uphill climb in establishing a health care infrastructure and building an operational exchange by 2014. Fortunately, in 2008 the state approved an exchange marketplace that could be converted to meet federal requirements, even though it is not yet operational. Scott has turned down millions in grants for programs that aid in cancer prevention, expand community health centers, counsel patients on long term care options, and disease management, but did accept over $2.5 million in ACA money to fund abstinence-only initiatives.