Governor, Stop Sabotaging Health Reform

Sep 13, 2013

The Tampa Bay Times' lead editorial on Friday says Gov. Rick Scott is hurting Florida families by pretending to be on their side but actually undermining their access to health insurance -- and information about where to get it.

The Palm Beach Post ran an editorial on a similar theme: "Republican resistance to Affordable Care Act is bad medicine for Floridians." While most of that editorial is behind an impermeable paywall, it appears that the subject is the same, that state officials should stop harassing those who are trying to help the uninsured.

The newspapers are referring to the latest state move: denying enrollment advisors called Navigators access to health department offices. The order was issued by a deputy Department of Health secretary, but the Times clearly doesn't think C. Meade Grigg acted on his own. 

Quick thinking by Dr. Claude Dharamraj, director of the Pinellas health department, led to a compromise that will serve patients in her county. She pointed out that the county owns the buildings that several of the clinics are in, so the state DOH can't dictate who can be in them.

The editorial dismisses the reason for the DOH policy -- to protect patient privacy -- as a "red herring." The effort to shut off access to information about how to enroll in a subsidized health plan just to undermine Obamacare shows how low the state's so-called leaders will sink for the sake of politics, the Times says.