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Senate Democrats prod Scott for special session on Medicaid

by John Kennedy | May 6th, 2013

Florida Senate Democrats urged Gov. Rick Scott on Monday to call lawmakers back into special session to work on expanding health care insurance for low-income Floridians.

Scott earlier endorsed a Medicaid expansion allowed under the Affordable Care Act that could bring Florida $51 billion in federal money over the next decade to cover 1.1 million uninsured Floridians.

But the House and Senate deadlocked on the issue — with House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, unwilling to accept any expansion that relied on federal dollars.

Scott did little to break the standoff during the two-month regular session which ended Friday. But Democrats said the governor now has an opportunity to underscore his support for expansion.

“Governor, you are on the record in support of fully implementing the Medicaid expansion so that uninsured Floridians have access to medical care,” the 14 Senate Democrats wrote. “We urge you to put action behind those words and wield your power to protect those people and the many Florida businesses whose fate now rests in your hands.”

Scott spent Monday touring Florida schools, touting a teacher pay raise he had listed as his top priority and was eventually granted by the Legislature, albeit with some modifications.

Scott wanted an across-the-board hike that was turned into a merit-based increase, that may not be distributed in many counties until next year.

The governor so far has said nothing about a special session on health care. In fact, his final comments when the Legislature adjourned Friday night didn’t sound like someone ready to renew the fight.

“The Legislature said, ‘no,’ I said ‘yes,’” Scott told reporters.

He also hinted that any sales pitch on his part would have proved fruitless. “The House and Senate know exactly where I am” on the issue, Scott said.




2 Responses to “Senate Democrats prod Scott for special session on Medicaid”

  1. Downtown Danny Says:

    Someone must think Republicans give a darn about poor people without health care – THEY DON’T!

  2. very tired Says:

    State and local governments cannot afford to pay for the employees they have now. That is not even considering all the employees that have been laid off, or left and not replaced.
    How do you expect Florida to pay for people’s insurance that do not want to get a job?
    What current service should be cut to pay for this insurance?
    Fire Protection maybe? How about law enforcement? Maybe Paramedics? Can’t be them or the people would not have anyone to call if they get sick or injured even with Medicaid insurance.
    How about prison guards? No?
    How about all those teachers?
    Meals on Wheels?
    Well tell me, what gets cut to pay for this insurance?
    You come up with an offset to the future costs of this free insurance and I will vote for it.
    Oh! By the way, you can’t cut Medicaid reimbursements to do it. They are so low already, more and more doctors will not accept Medicaid recipients. No sense in having Medicaid if no one accepts it. Is there?

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