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Affordable Care Act

‘We’re Not Hard-Hearted,’ Legislator Says

Brandon Chamber of Commerce

Florida House members are getting a lot of questions about their priorities these days after turning down $51 billion in federal funds that would have paid most of the bill to cover more than 1 million of the lowest-income Floridians. 

As the Tampa Bay Times reported, four GOP lawmakers tried to explain to a Chamber of Commerce luncheon that they had not had faith in the federal government to come through with the funds.  They say that they plan to come up with a solution, perhaps next year.

“Please believe us, we’re not hard-hearted,” said state Rep. Ross Spano, R-Dover.

Meanwhile, newspaper editorial boards around the state that have already blasted House Speaker Will Weatherford and House Republicans for turning down the money are now questioning the motives of the Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott on another matter.

Scott on Friday signed a bill that effectively deregulates health-insurance price hikes, shifting responsibility to the federal government, away from the Office of Insurance Regulation, the Associated Press reports. But as an Orlando Sentinel editorial pointed out, the Affordable Care Act does not give the federal government the authority to roll back price hikes.