After Scott's endorsement, Medicaid expansion rejected by Florida House panel
March 4th, 2013
06:17 PM ET
1 year ago

After Scott's endorsement, Medicaid expansion rejected by Florida House panel

(CNN) – Republicans sitting on a Florida House committee bucked their state's GOP governor Monday by rejecting an expansion of Medicaid included in President Barack Obama's health care law.

By a party-line vote, the members of Florida's Select Committee on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act decided against writing a bill expanding Medicaid in the Sunshine State, despite Gov. Rick Scott's pledge last month that Florida would accept the provision.

Under Obamacare, the federal government will pick up the total cost of the expensive expansion for the first three years, after which the federal funding will phase down to 90%. The program covers all adults with annual incomes at or below 133% of the federal poverty level, which is currently $14,404 for an individual.

Republicans on the panel questioned whether the funding from the federal government would actually last for three years, given current wrangling in Washington over federal spending and the national debt. They also worried about expanding a program in Florida they characterized as broken.

Medicaid expansion in Florida isn't totally dead, however. A Florida Senate panel postponed a vote Monday on whether or not to accept the Obamacare provision, saying it needed more time to digest information that was presented by the state's economist. If the Senate panel votes it through, followed by the full Florida Senate, then it would go to the full Florida House for consideration. Republicans hold significant majorities in both chambers of the Florida legislature, making an expansion Medicaid far from certain in the state.

In his acceptance of the Medicaid expansion, Scott faced blowback from conservative Republicans who oppose Obama's health law as an overreach of the federal government. Scott was once a leading voice against the law, and campaigned heavily against it during his 2010 bid for governor.

However, in accepting the provision last month, Scott said he could not "in good conscience deny the uninsured access to care."

"We will support a three-year expansion of our Medicaid program under the new healthcare law, as long as the federal government meets their commitment to pay 100 percent of the cost during this time," he said.

Scott's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the House panel's decision Monday.


Filed under: Florida • Medicaid • Rick Scott
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. John in Brooklyn

    Tea Party whackadoos. The Republican Party decided to invite them in...now they have to live with them.

    March 4, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  2. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    It's time to throw these brain dead gop freaks out of office and move forward instead of backwards that seems to be the gop agenda to move back to 1920s healthcare and economic policy . Wait till 2014 mid terms and the voter turn out will make the 2012 turnout look like small change ,the gop will be out of office in Florida, good ridence !!!!!!

    March 4, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  3. L. T. Fang

    Thanks for leaving more money for the rest of us, Florida GOP.

    March 4, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  4. Russ

    Good, now cut off all Medicaid and Medicare aid to Florida. It won't take long to rid the Florida Government of the Tea Party once the old and disabled take it in the shorts even more than they do already.

    March 4, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  5. jane

    Oh god, why can't Florida just break off and fall in to the ocean, taking Scott, Zimmerman, and the Select Committee with it?? This state makes Mississippi look enlightened, and that's not easy.

    March 4, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  6. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The idea of making sure that everyone has access to health care isn't good enough? I can't see why the money matters because the health of the people making an income would pay enough taxes to cover this.

    March 4, 2013 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  7. Name lynn

    The people hates obama, the people is trying to make obama look bad when its come to jobs , but the people making themselves look stupid, because is trying to do right.

    March 5, 2013 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  8. taraneh

    Wow, a bit of good news from courageous legislatures standing up for the American people in this miserable, bedeviled, country of the past 4 1/2 years.

    March 5, 2013 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  9. Marie MD

    Didn't this walking dead milk the medicare and medicaid system and still got elected in Florida?
    I seem to remember this but the rethugs have done so much harm to the country that it's hard to keep up.

    March 5, 2013 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  10. Jack in Florida

    Florida has some of the most backward politicans. They have no vision to bring this state to the great state it has the potential to become. We have rejected the high speed rail and now this. Republicans suck.

    March 5, 2013 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  11. HenryMiller

    Good! Obamacare should never have been inflicted on us in the first place and Medicaid is a monster taxpayer rip-off.

    March 5, 2013 07:17 am at 7:17 am |