Broward News

Florida House Panel Rejects Medicaid Expansion

Even with Gov. Rick Scott reversing course on the good ship SS Teabaggery and supporting the expansion of Medicaid (even though he wanted to control how it would be privatized), his fellow Florida GOPers stayed the course.

See also:
-Rick Scott Now Supports Medicaid Expansion

And by "stayed the course," we mean "screwed the poor!" and went ahead and rejected the expansion of Medicaid in Florida by a 10-5 party-line vote.

A House committee, which says it's been studying Obamacare for weeks, recommended that Florida shouldn't expand Medicaid coverage to roughly 1 million-plus residents under the Affordable Care Act.

Committee members used the ol' "quality of patient care will be crappy" song and dance as their motivation to vote the way they did.

Without Medicaid expansion, Florida hospitals could face a $53.3 billion increase in uncompensated care costs by 2019. The $53 billion in unpaid care costs would coincide with a total $14.1 billion in Medicaid reductions.

And the government has said it will pay for the expansion during the first three years, then take up 90 percent of the costs after that.

Under Scott's latest proposal, the Legislature would vote to reauthorize the program to keep it going after three years.

"While the federal government is committed to pay 100 percent of the cost, I cannot, in good conscience, deny Floridians the needed access to health care," Scott said.

But Speaker Will Weatherford doesn't think much of his own governor's governing. Or facts.

"The 'all or nothing' approach that the Obama administration is offering will not work for our state," Weatherford said Monday afternoon after the votes were tallied. "I know there will be continued discussion about this matter, and I look forward to exploring better policies for our state."

A Senate select committee postponed a meeting scheduled for Monday afternoon that was expected to include discussions about possibly moving forward with the expansion.

So, stay tuned, 1 million uninsured Floridians... the decision-makers are still... decidening.

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