Slowdown Day 2: House Democrats debate health care on every billby John Kennedy | May 1st, 2013
The Florida House lurched into Day 2 of a slowdown Wednesday, initiated by Democrats angry over Republican leadership’s rejection of a plan to draw federal Medicaid dollars to provide health insurance to more than 1 million Floridians.
House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, advanced the session’s scheduled 9 a.m. start by an hour. And an auto-reader continued to be used to read the full text of bills before the House.
House Democratic Leader Perry Thurston of Fort Lauderdale made the rarely used procedural move Tuesday — demanding the full readings to underscore the party’s frustration. A new tactic emerged Wednesday, when Democrats began using floor debate on virtually every bill to highlight the health care expansion.
Environmental bills, water management legislation and even a measure involving the mapping and monitoring of agricultural lands seemed to remind Democrats in debate about the failed health coverage.
Rep. Lori Berman, D-Lantana, was among those speaking. She grabbed her microphone to debate on an otherwise routine bill involving a state organ and tissue registry.
“Unfortunately, we’re not going to allow some people to take advantage of the organ and tissue registry because we’re not going to allow them to receive health insurance coverage,” Berman said.