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House Committee Adopts Medicaid Alternative

April 20th, 2013 by Mike Vasilinda

Increased health care for up to a million Floridians remains up in the air tonight as legislators in Tallahassee push drastically different plans. The end result could be no additional coverage for anyone.


Under a plan being pushed by the state House, 113,000 low income Floridians would pay a 25 dollar monthly co-pay for private insurance. A plan favored by the Governor and State Senate, would cover ten times more people. It’s funded completely by the federal government for the first three years. But it is that federal funding where House Republicans are drawing the line.

Rep. Charles McBurney R-Jacksonville, told the panel “What the government giveth, the government taketh away.”  Rep. Steve Precourt, R-Orlando, called the Feds record into question “Furthermore the federal government does have a demonstrated check record of being an unreliable funding partner.”

In pushing for the larger coverage, Democrats made a reference to Boston, where first responders rushed to a crisis. Rep. Darryl Rouson of St. Petersburg says Florida should be rushing to solve a health care crisis. “We lend a helping hand. That’s what America is all about” said Rouson.

Despite the plea the committee shut down the federal money plan on a party line vote.

Rep. Mia Jones,  D-Jacksonville, says the GOP is still angry they lost the election “It’s really not about providing coverage under those plans, it’s simply about saying no to the Affordable Care Act.”The decision not to take federal money sets up a very real possibility the lawmakers could leave the State Capitol in two weeks and do absolutely nothing to expand health care.

Doing nothing says House Speaker Will Weatherford, would be profitable to taking federal money. “If it’s taking federal money that we can’t count on going home, I think we would prefer to go home” Weatherford said in an exclusive interview.

The plan being pushed by the House Speaker, gives eligible enrollees two thousand dollars to buy coverage of their choice. The House plan does not cover single, childless adults, which is one of the major differences from the Medicaid expansion favored by the Governor.  His plan also saves the state an estimated 430 million dollars on money it now spends on the medically needy program.




Posted in Business, Civil Rights, Drugs, Economy, Health, Legislature, Politics, Rick Scott, State Budget | 2 Comments »

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