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Jeff Vasilinda becomes the Vasilinda Family’s first published author!

‘A Healthy Florida Works’ Plans to Expand Medicaid

December 8th, 2014 by flanews

Around 1 million people in the state are left out when it comes to healthcare coverage. As Matt Galka tells us, there are plenty of backers pushing a new effort that would tap in to federal money.

Medicaid expansion has failed to take off in Florida since it first became available in 2012.  Republican lawmakers have opposed federal money and have tried to distance themselves from the President’s Affordable Care Act. 2015 could be a different story.

A Healthy Florida Works is trying to provide an alternative that sways conservatives.  The plan would tap into the 5 billion dollars a year of federal money currently available which could help cover 1 million Floridians.

The compromise is that it would require monthly premiums to be paid as well as mandate recipients search for work or job training. Multiple business groups are backing it. Damien Filer with Progress Florida says the bottom line is people without coverage need it .

“I think there are a lot of different ways that we can get there, the important thing is that we’re taking a first step and this is a very meaningful one, so I think this is very encouraging that this is happening,” said Filer.

Even though there’s plenty of momentum behind the program, lawmakers here just last month didn’t sound as optimistic. New Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli seemed to indicate his chamber wouldn’t change their ways.

“We believe, we stand firm, where we believe we are right now and that’s without expansion,” he said.

But there’s still plenty of time to change minds between now and March…when 2015’s legislative session will start.

27 states have accepted expansion money from the government.  Only four other states have done so with a separate plan form the Affordable Care Act and Florida could become the fifth.

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