MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A straight party-line vote from the House Select Committee on Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act said Florida should not expand Medicaid coverage to nearly one million more residents.
The vote was a rebuke to Governor Rick Scott who recently proposed expanding Medicaid for three years as long as the federal government footed the entire bill, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
According to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald, Republicans on the committee said the expansion would “increase the federal deficit, diminish health care delivery to the elderly and would drastically grow an already problem-laden program.”
The House Select Committee also unanimously agreed that Florida should not move forward with creating a health exchange, which was already known as Florida had missed the deadline to launch its own exchange.
The Republican move against the state exchange is not without a certain sense of irony because one of the chief complaints states had against the Affordable Care Act was that it put too much power in the hands of the federal government.
But, instead of creating their own health care exchanges, the states gave the federal government the responsibility and the ability to shape it however federal officials see fit.
House Speaker Will Weatherford said he accepted the panel’s recommendations and “The facts show that healthcare costs will go up for many Floridians, while access to and quality of healthcare will go down.”
Even though Scott endorsed the expansion, the Legislature must still sign off on it, and lawmakers have not been shy in expressing their skepticism about the quality and cost of the Affordable Care Act. A Senate committee has postponed its hearing on the issue.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press and Miami Herald contributed to this report.)