TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – The Florida Legislature has essentially killed a plan from Governor Rick Scott to expand Medicaid coverage to roughly 1 million of Florida’s poorest residents as part of the Affordable Care Act.
The move from the GOP-led legislature was widely expected as Governor Scott was pilloried by conservatives for coming out in support of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion.
Instead of expanding Medicaid, a state Senate committee recommended the state adopt a voucher-type system championed by Republicans at both the state and federal level. Senator Joe Negron said his ultimate goal is to exit the Medicaid system completely.
The voucher system has been flawed as the costs of health care are far outpacing the size of vouchers which leaves the poorest Floridians struggling to pay for the difference in costs. Lawmakers reportedly discussed using state funds to help with copays, but made no decision on the matter.
Scott had sought to expand Medicaid for three years while the federal government footed the entire bill of the expansion before making a final decision. The federal government pledged to pay as much as 90 percent of the costs past the first three years.
“I am confident that the Legislature will do the right thing and find a way to protect taxpayers and the uninsured in our state while the new healthcare law provides 100 percent federal funding,” said Governor Scott in a statement.
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