Photo: Courtesy FL CHAIN
Florida’s Republican Governor Rick Scott, reversed himself last month and said his state would expand Medicaid and enact President Obama’s health care reform law. It would provide coverage to an estimated 1 million more low-income Floridians. But a Florida Senate committee voted this week to reject expansion. The decision reinforces one by Florida’s House, which rejected expansion the week before.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states that agree to add lower-income, uninsured people to their Medicaid rolls will receive 100 percent of the additional cost in federal dollars for three years starting in January 2014, and 90 percent for subsequent years.
Opportunities for further debate and legislative action on this issue will end on May 3. That’s when the Florida Legislature, which serves 19.4 million people, concludes its annual session in Tallahassee of only 60 days per year, unless the governor or three-fifths of the legislature decided to call a special session.
New America Media spoke with health care policy experts and advocates in Florida regarding what they make of these recent decisions and what they see in their state’s future for heath care access.
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