There are only five days left of the regular 2015 legislative session, but it still looks like the Florida House has no intentions of backing down against Medicaid expansion.
That sentiment was evident in a series of spirited tweets posted Sunday by Speaker-designate Richard Corcoran, R-Land OLakes.
In the tweets, Corcoran questions the motives of pro-Medicaid expansion lobbyists and of the 600-something thousand who would benefit from the expansion.
Taking private insurance with great outcomes from 609K Floridians to give 607K Floridians Medicaid is not a fix, Corcoran began. It's disgraceful.
Perhaps the most powerful legislator in the House, Corcoran has taken center stage in the battle between the Senate and House over expanding Medicaid in Florida.
The federal government announced it would not be renewing the Low-Income Pool program funding, withholding nearly $1 billion in funding for the program which helps hospitals serve poor patients statewide.
The Scott administration and the House are staunchly against using federal dollars to expand what they believe is a flawed system. The Houses proposed $76.1 billion budget doesnt include the federal governments match for LIP dollars.
Scott is so disgruntled over the issue that he even went so far as to sue President Obamas federal health-care agency for stopping funding to force the state to opt into expanding Medicaid.
The Senate, on the other hand, would create a health-insurance exchange where people with an income of up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level can go to choose from among a number of private insurance plans. The estimated 800,000 eligible are people who do not qualify for Medicaid right now.
A good portion of the 600,000-plus that would benefit from the expansion don't work at all, said Corcoran.
The 607K are overwhelmingly able-bodied childless adults -- almost half of which don't work at all," he tweeted. "The rest work less than 10 months.
Corcoran also implied lobbyists and special interests could benefit from Medicaid expansion.
Every big lobbyist and every big-money special interest group wants Obamacare's Medicaid expansion. hmmm must be a good deal???
House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, said the House was willing to work with the Senate on the states budget as long as they rejected Medicaid expansion.
Its important for us to separate the policy from the budget, Crisafulli said. The fact of the matter is, were at a point right now where we just have to get past the starting line.
Senate President Gardiner told his fellow Senate members he was prepared to stay in Tallahassee until June 30, the absolute last day state lawmakers have to create the state budget.
But as it currently stands, there's no agreement in sight for the Legislature. It doesnt look like either chamber will be changing its stance to reach an agreement over Medicaid expansion anytime soon, astance Corcoran made evident in his latest tweet.
We will stand and fight with the working poor against the special interests and big corporate hospitals every day of the week! he wrote.
The regular session officially ends next Tuesday. Its uncertain whether the legislator will enter an extended session or a special session, but Capitol insiders say a special session is much more likely at this point.
Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen by email at allison@sunshinestatenews or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen