Did Gov. Scott knowingly exaggerate Obamacare costs

The Miami Heralds’ Naked Politics Blog is reporting that Gov. Rick Scott may have knowingly overstated the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the state’s Medicaid budget.

Naked Blog: In a Sunday Tampa Bay Times editorial and again when speaking to the media in Washington on Monday, Gov. Rick Scott said it will cost Florida $26 billion over the first 10 years to expand Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“As you know Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration put out their estimate of what the expansion would cost just for Florida taxpayers and it’s over $26 billion,” Scott said Monday.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AzAsPiPmJY&w=420&h=236]

PolitiFact rated that Scott’s $26 billion statement was “False.”

PolitiFact: Don’t believe that number.

In this case, the Agency for Health Care Administration — an agency Scott directs — did indeed release a presentation that concluded that Florida taxpayers would be asked to pay $25.8 billion over 10 years to implement an expansion of the Medicaid system.

But the state study relies on questionable or downright misleading assumptions to reach its eye-popping figure.

We can’t say what the cost will be to the state — and if there will even be one. Outside groups such as the Kaiser Family Foundation, for instance, have estimated the additional cost to the state would be a little more than $1 billion between 2013 and 2022.

Health News Florida has also reported that the governor was warned weeks ago that he was using inaccurate numbers that could breach state law if they were utilized.

The flawed report, “Estimates Related to the Affordable Care Act,” was sent to members of the Legislative Budget Commission on Dec. 17. Three days later, two of the recipients pointed out the faulty assumptions and sent it back to AHCA for a do-over. They said it would violate Florida law to proceed with the estimate.

Apparently Gov. Scott doesn’t want the facts to get in the way of his political agenda.