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COLUMN

Happytown: More Affordable Care Act foot-dragging

Health care advocates draft letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Katherine Sibelius urging feds to force Florida to take part in federal exchange

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Speaking of sick, it's worth noting that just because Gov. Rick Scott seems to be sneezing in the direction of begrudgingly accepting Obamacare as his personal savior, that convulsive gesture may not add up to much when it comes time to implement a statewide insurance exchange. Also, Scott's queen bee Attorney General Pam Bondi isn't even pretending to like the health care law, telling an insurance summit last week that the President and evil health care supporters "were not straight with the American people" when they pitched the reforms.

All of that rhetorical flim-flam, however, does nothing to make up for the fact that Florida has snottily looked the other way for years, refusing the federal millions that would be required for the state to set up its own exchange system. The very real fear that Florida may be allowed to set up its own exchange – after spending years and millions legally cursing in the face of health care reform – prompted 20 health care advocates and advocacy groups to draft a letter to Health & Human Services Secretary Katherine Sibelius last week, effectively encouraging the feds to force Florida into a federal exchange or risk a whole lot of sliminess and hedging.

"Our hope is that eventually Florida will be in the position to develop its own high quality health insurance exchange with consumer input – but we are in no way ready for that now," Laura Goodhue of Florida CHAIN said in a Nov. 29 statement. "Florida just waited too long to make this happen by the deadline."

Considering that the deadline in question, the one in which we're supposed to be able to prove our ability to do something we've spent no time and money preparing for, is Dec. 14, we'd have to agree. Some sick notes can't be faked.

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