SSN on Facebook SSN on Twitter SSN on YouTube RSS Feed


Groups Across Florida React to House's Rejection of Medicaid Expansion

June 6, 2015 - 9:15am

With the Florida House rejecting Medicaid expansion on Friday at the close of the first week of a special session, groups across the Sunshine State reacted to the vote. 

The debate over accepting federal dollars for Medicaid expansion set up under President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law divided the two chambers of the Legislature during the regular session. Despite both being under Republican control, the Senate has supported accepting Medicaid expansion while the House stood with Gov. Rick Scott against it. 

With Friday’s vote effectively killing Medicaid expansion, conservatives celebrated. 

Chris Hudson, the Florida director for Americans for Prosperity (AFP), cheered the news on Friday night and singled out Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, for praise. 

“Floridians were heard, and the House took strong action today under Speaker Crisafulli’s leadership,” Hudson said on Friday night. “There can be no doubt that the Florida House made the best decision for Floridians by opposing the Senate’s plan to expand Medicaid. The Senate’s proposal would have cost Floridians over $1 billion, and would have done nothing to address doctor shortages or quality of care. Floridians deserve the best care possible, so we will continue to fight for free-market solutions.”

Hudson noted his group rallied conservative activists across the state in opposition to Medicaid expansion and their efforts paid off. 

“I also want to commend all of the activists who joined us in going door-to-door, phone banking, and traveling to Tallahassee to make their voices heard and educate Floridians about the policy battles we’re engaging in across the state,” Hudson said. “Our activists are the heartbeat of our organization and these victories belong to them.”

Bob McClure, the president and CEO of the James Madison Institute (JMI), a group fighting for free-market solutions, also cheered the vote. 
"Today, the Florida House made the right decision to stop a plan that not only fell extremely short of addressing real systemic issues in Florida's health-care system, but would have ultimately presented state taxpayers a bill for billions, threatening the survival of other public priorities critical to our state,” McClure said. “Taking federal dollars from a government $18 trillion in debt was not a golden ticket for Florida, but a one-way ticket to disaster in the fight for Florida's future.” 

McClure said that Florida now had the opportunity to make some major health-care reforms. 

“Now it is time to come together to start chipping away at the many proposed solutions that will lower the cost of health care, increase access to health-care services, and improve health outcomes for all Floridians,” McClure noted. “People's ears will be filled with much rhetoric surrounding this decision today. However, the only thing they need to hear is that they deserved better than this plan and now Florida has the opportunity to take action without our strings further tied to the puppet-master federal government." 

Leaders of liberal groups across the Sunshine State said the House put idealogy over the needs of Floridians. 

Pamela Goodman, the president of the League of Women Voters, insisted “this is not a loss” and “we will not rest until the battle is won.” Despite leading an organization that describes itself as nonpartisan, Goodman noted 2016 was an election year and hoped the issue would resurface. 
"We can only hope that 2016 -- an election year -- will make opponents find the compassion and the moral strength to take action on behalf of the less fortunate," Goodman said. 

Leah Barber-Heinz, the CEO of Florida Community Health Action Information Network (CHAIN), also took aim at the decision. 

“Today Florida had the opportunity to accept billions in health-care dollars so that nearly 1 million Floridians could get access to lifesaving health coverage,” Barber-Heinz said. “Working moms and dads, veterans, students, and people with disabilities would have finally been able to sleep at night, knowing that if need be, they could afford to go to a doctor. The local economy would have gotten a needed boost with the influx in federal funds and the thousands of jobs it would have created. Our hospitals, a critical economic engine in many communities, would have been protected.

“Unfortunately, the leaders of the Florida House of Representatives again chose to turn their backs on the health needs of their constituents, the will of the people, businesses and hospitals they represent, and the viability of our local economies,” Barber-Heniz added. “Rather than bringing our hard-earned tax dollars back into Florida in order to save lives and protect our hospitals, House leaders made the shameful decision to vote against this vital piece of legislation.”


Reach Kevin Derby at or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN


I believe that about half of the folks in my area, perhaps close to the same number nationally ... 47% ... are in need. Let us say they find it difficult to budget because their needs may be higher than their cash flow. These are not bums, half of our population, these are hard working people in all walks of life. They are not all minorities! Many are children and elderly. Most of the elderly have worked their whole lives. They are people that may need help, with food, healthcare, or housing. They may have fought in wars defending our country. Today, when manufacturing jobs have gone to make middle classes in other countries our people are in transition either starting small businesses of their own or working in service related jobs. The giant stores that cover the American landscape have made it difficult for many if the older small brick and mortar stores to stay afloat. And the giant stores don't even pay $20 an hour ... perhaps $11 is more like it, or $7. That's just barely a living wage and to try to pay a health care premium out of that ... or prescription drugs ... well, please try to see these folks plight. Some of these hard working people could use a little empathy and financial assistance in the form of health care. I am grateful for my medicare! And I am equally grateful to the Veterans Administration for my fathers health care. These two incredible health care government run systems are saving people's lives every day. Our country should be proud. Let's figure this out and do this for all our citizens ... it will make for a far better country.

Why is it that the members of the Legislature who are charged with making the decision regarding government sponsored health care, and who have decidend to decline efforts to expand the government backed health care, have themselves partaken the forbidden fruit of government funded health care? Check it out, Legislators are paying $180 a month for health benefis that have far more benefits than what a taxpayer can receive. The way I understand it for these REPUGLICANS is "we will take as much government benefits as we can get, but you do not get anything becasue you are not connected." This shows that the REPUGLICANS have adopted the axiom, "best government money can buy." Why haven't voters learned

Not only are we the laughingstock of the country, but the world...

A Republican controlled legislature is unable to do the ONLY thing mandated by the state's constitution, pass a budget. It would be funny if it weren't true.

Didn't we elect conservative candidates because they were AGAINST Obamacare? So now why are they being called names and accused of trying to starve people? Why can't the Senate come to terms with this and try to work out something that everyone can agree with and end this stand-off?? Haven't we seen where the states that have accepted Obamacare now find themselves in a financial mess? It's a lot easier to prevent a bad law or plan than it is to overrule it once it's in place. PLEASE get off the Koch brothers, what they contribute is nothing compared to George Sorros with his millions & billions. Where do you get your information? From the Democrats?.

The house is controlled by the Koch brothers. They do it through stupid misguided Americans for Prosperity. They call the shots. They have done this in other states. The real issue is that voters are irrelevant. The Koch brothers with their wealth control our political process in Florida.

Silliness.. the health care system.. in fact the entire system is not sustainable because the debt load is beginning to overwhelm the average working class taxpayer. What we are witnessing in this country is a class war, and it's the Haves vs the Have Not's. Right now the Haves are in control and are trying to protect many of their trinkets and treasures confiscated through greed and corruption. It's inevitable this type of behavior will not last. Why ? Because in the end the Haves will also become Have Not's if compromise between the classes is not reached.

If the governor and house had a detail plan to cover the medicaid costs, with buy-in from hospitals and others then I would be open minded to not accept federal dollars. Personally, I would accept the federal dollars for one more year. This would all parties to sit down and develop a common sense plan. But sometimes in politics, common sense is not so common.

This would help all parties...,

I Support the House on this one!! It is more handouts for those that need to get off their collective behinds and get to work that are crying about it!! Let those that really need it on SSI or other disability income have a share...We have almost 2 generations that believe that the government and world owe them a living. I disagree! Thank you Florida!

I find it difficult to understand how some people can be so mean and selfish toward those less fortunate.

Janice, this is not mean and selfish. This is knowing that the feds do not help, they hamper free market. I had to go on Medicare when I turned 65, My healthcare cost went up $150 per month, and I received much less coverage. The government should not be in business, competing with the private sector. We, the middle class who have worked and paid and paid are now the ones suffering. If you own your home, and have minimal investments, you do not qualify for any assistance. Wake up and smell the coffee.

I was very well off until with Dom bad investments lost close to $750,000. Medicare at 65 saved me and my spouse. Our insurance dropped to zero. How yours went up $150 a month is BS. Sell that to someone who doesn't know better. LBJ for the USA! His social programs are wonderful.. Too bad All Presidents from Nixon tapped into all security cash and like everything else never paid back!

Oh Janice, such a silly girl! Most of "those less fortunate" have chosen to live their ways. MOST have hoped the Feds would carry them through life and and now it's becoming clear the grave train is pulling in to its' last stop! I only wish there was a way deserving folks in a real and true need could be divided out and away from the remaining moochers in our society! There's no real or true answer!

Quit talking out of your butt.

I know two people who are on Medicaid. It is one lousy government program. Fewer and fewer doctors are accepting Medicaid patients as they are losing money with them. Expanding Medicaid is NOT the answer to quality health care. It is a huge monster of a program that eats up money faster than the taxpayers can put it in. How about this? Abolish Obamacare (another money losing program). Revert to the healthcare system we had 5 years ago, minus Medicaid (get rid of it completely). Let each State set up their own low cost and/or free health program for those that truly can't afford their own. Most can at least subsidize their premium. Here's what would happen. Health care costs would DROP significantly. Taxpayers money would go a whole lot further, and those with low income would get much better healthcare. Glad the House is standing firm....we can't keep buying into a broken system. Let's look at something that works for everyone...including our Doctors!

By doing this the house has hurt all floridians', people on sis, veterans and our children, so it time we show the and vote all their asses out of office in 2016.

No idea where you come up with all your stats, but veterans, and I am one, will not be hurt by this classless State Legislature. However, those people who barely can make two ends meet will surely suffer!

Hot Dog! Good show! We believe that government services, especially Federal government services, should not be expanded here in Florida. Particularly anything related to welfare, free food, and medical subsidy. Florida state government and its leadership should be working every day to wean Florida residents OFF of Federal government bribes to stay-in-line. Florida and other states are SO TIED to the Federal government monies that we all have lost sight of state’s rights as was tried to be preserved in the 10th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. State legislature: every chance you get, please vote against medicare expansion, health care subsidies, and free food and welfare services, like school lunches, school breakfasts, etc. The more “free” stuff Florida government and Florida tax payers gives, the more that itinerant people move to Florida. They don’t pay taxes. That forces a demand for an increase in more “free” stuff to keep recipients happy. Urge your legislative colleagues to do the same.

So, you want the poor to just die?

you imply the "poor" are going to die if they do not receive money from me through the federal government? how do you come to this conclusion? I assist the poor and can do so much better than the federal government, or any government for that matter. I can direct my money to those in need better than any government bureaucrat who knows nothing about me or those i support. If we continue with your mindset we will all be poor, except for the bureaucrats.

I support the decision made by the House on this subject. I glad they understand that to take anything from this Fed Gov is to become under their control.

It is quite ironic that in conservative states like Arkansas ans Kentucky where medicaid was expanded to meet the needs of the poor, the program has been a huge success. But until the huge issue of generational poverty and 72% minority birthrate to unwed and teenage women is reversed, entitlements are going to bankrupt the country. We have to stop the out-of-control pregnancies to illiterate, adolescent and unwed women, predominantly in the black and Hispanic communities or we will never reverse generational poverty and he out of control entitlement programs.

A huge success you say ?? But a report last month by the Kentucky Hospital Association said Obamacare overall has left them facing billions of dollars in cuts and forced them to lay off staff and shut down services. Most of the newly-insured in the relatively poor state enrolled in Medicaid, which hospital officials said now pays 82% of the actual cost of treating patients. So even though hospitals are getting $506 million more in Medicaid payments, officials said, it costs $617 to provide care to those patients. And that's why it's a bad idea for Florida.

What absolute, total hypocrites! The House members, with the exception of a mere 12, decry the expansion of Medicaid-calling it subsidized, socialistic plan. While talking out one side of their collective maws, they accept a taxpayer funded health plan that is far less than what the average citizen pays for coverage. What's even MORE disgusting is the fact that these leeches enshrined in law the coverage amounts for the higher members and staffs; not only do they make 6 figure incomes + extra from lobbying, side ventures, etc., but they pay less than $30./month for full family health care-SUBSIDIZED by the taxpaying citizens of Florida. I don't know how McClure ,Hudson, et .al. believe that that the citizens of Florida wanted this- all polls clearly indicated the opposite. Can anyone say, Big Business? Cronyism? What absolute disgusting hogwash.

Hypocrites my eye... More like Clear Thinkers.... "Hawaii abandons troubled state ObamaCare exchange" Hawaii is taking its troubled ObamaCare insurance exchange off life support, the governor’s office announced Friday, the latest addition to a growing number of state exchanges forced to close after operations became unsustainable. The once-highly praised Hawaii Health Connector has been “unable to generate sufficient revenues to sustain operations,” Gov. David Ige’s office said in a statement...The shutdown comes after federal taxpayers dropped more than $200 million into the exchange, which critics called a waste of taxpayer money."

Hawaii actually opted back into a Federally run exchange after deciding it was a better option. But don't let the facts get in your way.

A "Better Option".... That's a laugh and a half !!!....$200 Million taxpayer dollars to find out 0bamaCare Exchange in Hawaii is a Failure... Free HealthCare Insurance isn't free and is unsustainable. Many Insurers are raising premiums 20-30% for the next Open Enrollment in the Fall.... But you keep believing the WhiteHouse Talking Points and ignoring reality.

Guess folks can read and decide for themselves.

More like "clear" stinkers! Biggest problem Florida has today is their own politicians! The alleged leaders in Florida are nothing more than tax wasters and deserve whatever beatdown the receive! Send them home to find an actual job and let them try to earn a day's pay instead of taking tax dollars for their salary!


Comments are now closed.



Live streaming of WBOB Talk Radio, a Sunshine State News Radio Partner.