Considering the importance of the Medicaid expansion question, it's critical to allow discussion of any expansion bills. Otherwise, the Affordable Care Act will be, for the most part, yet another unfunded mandate that Florida cannot afford.
If the legislature decides to do nothing this session, we will lose $5 Billion in federal funding this year that could have gone to the state, create jobs and help hospitals pay for the care of the uninsured.
Some offers are easy to reject using just common sense. I had assumed that the decision regarding taking billions of federal funds for Medicaid Expansion was in that same category, but for many legislators, the choice is not so straight-forward.
Out of the 50 states, Florida ranks 48th in the number of people that have health insurance. That means only two states have fewer people insured, with Texas being the worst. More than one in every five Floridians have no way but self-pay or no pay when they need medical attention.
A game is being played out in the halls of the Florida State Capital. Sometimes it's dodge ball, with some legislators trying to find any reason to avoid having to accept federal dollars, even if it means that almost a million of Floridians may be without an affordable safety net.