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Florida House of Representatives Rejects State Medicaid Expansion

The Florida state legislature recently met for a special session, at which the House of Representatives rejected a new proposal to expand Medicaid in the state. Just a few days earlier, the state Senate had overwhelmingly voted to pass the plan.

The house voted strictly along party lines, with Republicans against the expansion and Democrats in favor. Republicans argued that the plan would help expand the federal Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act in the state, something they wanted to avoid.

The proposed plan was known as the Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange and would have expanded the number of low-income Florida citizens who were eligible for Medicaid. It would have involved allocating $18 billion in funds over the course of a decade to give recipients the ability to obtain health insurance from private sources. According to state officials, about 650,000 Floridians would have been covered under the plan.

ACA at the core of the debate

Republicans against the proposal said it would have increased the deficit in the state, and that it was merely another method of expanding the law known as “Obamacare.” Florida Governor Rick Scott also opposed the bill.

So far, 30 states have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and 19 (including Florida) have chosen not to undergo such expansions. Two other states are currently in the process of discussing Medicaid expansion. The Republican-controlled Florida House of Representatives was never expected to pass the proposal, so now it’s back to the drawing board for legislators who wish to find a way to make Medicaid more accessible for low-income citizens in the Sunshine State.

For more information on what the rejection of this bill could mean for Medicaid in Florida, speak with an experienced Florida attorney at the Charles Law Offices.

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