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Medicaid Mayhem

May 1st, 2013 by flanews

There is chaos in the Florida House. Democrats are using the little authority they have to slow down the process. They’ve joined together to have every bill read in full and they’re turning every debate into a conversation about Medicaid expansion. As Whitney Ray tells us, House leadership is using technology to thwart their efforts.

A guard stood watch over the Florida House Wednesday. The Chamber was locked and a machine read legislation in fast forward. Democrats hijacked every debate.

“And so today you are playing the game with us and we are going back and forth and that’s unfortunate,” said Rep. Jim Waldman.

The battle was sparked after the Florida House refused to accept federal money to expand Medicaid. With just a few days to go until the end of session they’re pulling out all the stops.

“We will use any tools we can just like you used them in committees,” said Waldman in debate.

State Democrats are getting help from Washington. DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz is at the state capitol pushing for the expansion.

“If at the end of the day, if the end of this week comes and goes and the Republicans in Tallahassee refuse to insure a million more Floridians then they will have sickness, illness and death,” said Shultz.

The Senate passed a plan to accept federal money to expand Medicaid and offer coverage to million more Floridians. Governor Rick Scott is also backing the expansion but Shultz is pressing him to take a more active role.

“It’s time for him to get off the sidelines, either he is for accepting those funds and is willing to use his clout and his weight and put the full weight of his office behind that position or he’s not,” said Shultz.

With little time left before the end of session, talks of a fall session to address the issue are emerging. The senate has passed a Medicaid Expansion plan, but there’s still no sign from the House that they’ll take action.

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