Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) is one of the most vocal opponents of the Affordable Care Act, rejecting millions of dollars in federal grants and failing to implement key infrastructure that could help lower the state’s ballooning uninsurance rate and control costs.
Now, a new report from the Florida Health Care Insurance Advisory Board finds that the state’s health care picture is only getting bleaker: enrollment in health insurance has dropped for the fifth straight year in a row, from 4.5 million in 2006 to 3.7 million in 2010:
The drop last year stemmed primarily from losses in the in-state small-group market, which saw enrollment decline by almost 19 percent. The individual market saw a 3 percent increase in 2010. But the report, which is updated annually, said the uptick in individual coverage is linked to the drop in the small-group market. “Because of the natural link between small business coverage and individual coverage, enrollment gains in the individual market can be reflective of a somewhat weakening small group market as smaller employers drop coverage,” the report said.
The 2010 Census found that Florida is home to the third-highest percentage of residents without health insurance and 3 of the top 10 highest-spending metropolitan areas in the country. Meanwhile, Scott — a former health care executive whose for-profit health care hospital chain was charged with excessive government fraud — refuses to even recognize the legality of the federal health care reform law. As he told the Palm Beach Post in November, “It’s not the law of the land,” Scott said. “I don’t believe it will ever be the law of the land.”