By Ashley Lopez
Florida Center for Investigative Reporting
It looks like Florida officials are going to hand off implementation of parts of the Affordable Care Act to the federal government.
All states had until to Friday to make a decision about whether they want to run a state health care exchange or would prefer to allow the federal government to run it. An exchange is an online marketplace where consumers can buy health insurance, as well as one of the big components of the health care law.
Earlier this week, Florida lawmakers announced they were not ready to develop their own and would accept the federal government’s version of the exchange for now.
The exchanges are one part of the complex Affordable Care Act long resisted by Gov. Rick Scott and Republican state legislators.
Nothing had been done in Florida to establish a framework for an exchange before the 2012 election, as opponents hoped for a Republican president who would ditch or modify the law.
The state of Florida had been dragging its feet in implementing the health care law. But Florida is not alone. HT Politics also reports that “according to an Associated Press poll, 19 states have turned down the administration’s invitation to set up the exchanges, while 17 states and Washington, D.C., say they will set up their own markets.”
There are also a few GOP-led states refusing to move forward and remain undecided up the deadline.
Since the health care law passed, Florida officials have not accepted any money from the law for health programs in the state and have not taken any steps to implementing the law here. The state was also locked in a legal battle over the constitutionality of the law.
However, the law’s constitutionality was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and states including Florida have no choice now but to move forward with the law.