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After Rick Scott’s reversal, warring sides gear up over Medicaid expansion

by John Kennedy | February 21st, 2013

With Gov. Rick Scott reversing course and urging lawmakers to embrace Medicaid expansion as part of the federal health care overhaul, both sides in the battle have begun gearing up.

The James Madison Institute unveiled a new survey Thursday which shows 59 percent of voters oppose expanding Medicaid to 138 percent of the poverty level, after learning it may cost Florida taxpayers $3 billion over 10 years to draw $26 billion from the federal government in that time.

The poll also found that 63 percent of respondents also had concerns about whether the federal government would fulfill its commitment to cover all costs of the expansion for the first three years, with the state share maxed out at 10 percent over the decade.

JMI, a conservative policy organization which usually supports Scott initiatives, acknowledged it wasn’t expecting the governor to call the expansion.

“The governor’s announcement has come as a bit of a surprise,” said Thomas Perrin, the institute’s public affairs director. “We understand his desire to improve the health care system in our state. However, we believe that expanding an ineffective program in an attempt to provide health insurance is bad policy.”

Supporters of the expansion also are weighing in. The Florida Hospital Association, which has said the expansion will improve the quality of health care and reduce their cost of charity care, this week began running a Spanish-language radio spot on Miami stations touting the plan.

Polling shows the health care overhaul is supported by more than 70 percent of Hispanic voters, the hospital association said.

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3 Responses to “After Rick Scott’s reversal, warring sides gear up over Medicaid expansion”

  1. Kevin Says:

    I’m not sure if Scott’s reversal on this issue is a reaction to his immense unpopularity or his interest in improving the bottom line for managed health care companies. While I applaud his apparent change of heart I do not believe he can be trusted.. It’s clear that the state legislature is not interested in supporting or implementing any aspect of the affordable care act so it will be more important than ever that you research your particular representative’s stance on this issue and show up at the polls to remove those who vote against implementation out of office in 2014. Unemployed poor people, illegal aliens, and single mothers are already covered under current law. This bill would help extend that coverage to the working poor who are trying to do the right thing by becoming employed but have crossed over the official poverty line and as a result have lost their medical coverage. This will also ensure the fiscal health of our state safety net hospitals by allowing them to recoup the cost of providing care to the millions of uninsured citizens in Florida.

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  3. OBIWAN Says:

    OK, let’s do our ‘guesstimate’ of what Medicaid expansion to the ‘poor’ will cost?

    (s)CHIP cost $200 a month for healthy youngsters. IF that working ‘poor’ is younger entry level and decent health lower paid workers, we might assume an average age of 40.

    Does $5,000 a year sound about right? BARAMAcare dictates no more than a three to one rate banding on private coverage. That means $300 to $900 /mo. versus the actual ten to one actuarial rates of $100/mo for children to $1,000/mo for pre-medicare 60′s.

    Multiply $5,000 times the million expected to take this extremely broad coverage that will be free gratis? Can you say a minimum of $5 Billion a year or $15 Billion for the three year trial period?

    Medicaid for those SSI-Disabled runs over $25,000 a year – about twice our Seniors’ Medicare!

    AND, do you believe all these first time ‘health plan participants’ might try to catch up and their utilization look more like those Seniors? Especially IF they are also unemployed and got time on their hands?

    Hmmm… simple math and Common Sense tell us more than GOVT ‘cost estimates’? Perhaps that is why our GOV Rick Scott’s own personal estimates were twice as high also?

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