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Florida Medicaid Expansion Pretty Much Killed by Senate Panel

On Monday afternoon, a Senate select committee rejected moving forward with an expansion of the Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act, even after Gov. Rick Scott expressed a desire to see it expanded and even though state hospitals and businesses wanted to see it expanded and even though the majority of Floridians want to see it expanded.

So it looks like the solution to get affordable health care for Florida's poor is for them not to ever get sick.

Medicaid expansion was expected to bring health coverage to an additional 1 million lower-income Floridians.

But Florida GOPers in both the House and the Senate decided to take the proverbial nunchucks to poor people's proverbial balls.

But, no worries, Poors. Republican Sen. David Simmons promises that they'll be coming up with their own version of managed care system that will indubitably make zero difference as far as you getting a discount and will likely screw Florida hospitals in the long run, because.

Republican Chairman Joe Negron wants to go beyond that, saying he'd like to kick-start a voucher-like program that would make coverage available through private insurers.

So red tape and private insurance corporations will be rolling the dice for you, should you or a family member become ill.


And while Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford (also, shockingly, a Republican) had his own family benefit from Medicare, you Poors are just gonna have to fend for yourselves.

Sure it's true that the federal government would pay for 100 percent of Medicaid expansion until 2016. And then after that, the state would pay a 5 percent share.


So now, unless Florida's lawmakers come to some kind of compromise with Rick Scott on this, Medicaid expansion is pretty much dead.

Oh but, let's give a billionaire football team owner more money to remodel his stadium. Then the Poors can get a job selling popcorn at the refurbished Sun Life Stadium and start saving up for health insurance. Boom! Problem solved!

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph

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