Done deal: Florida Republicans reject $78 billion for Medicaid
Fellow Floridians, have you read the newspapers today? Tax cuts that you would have received aren’t going to happen.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott
Why? Because that money has to pay hospital expenses which would have been paid by the federal government if our dearly beloved governor, Rick Scott, and the like-minded state House Republicans hadn’t exercised their hatred of President Obama in refusing it. The House, supported by Scott, voted Friday against the Senate plan to expand Medicaid with federal dollars, which would have kept the hospitals’ subsidies coming. They rejected it because it was part of Obamacare, whereas the hospital assistance was separate. This is what happens when you allow yourselves to be sold a false bill of goods and re-elect the man whom most despised after he was elected. As election time neared, the job situation improved, and you swallowed Scott’s malarkey about having spurred that improvement, when it was the result of an overall economic upturn nationally. And who was at the helm when that solid economic performance occurred? Let’s see … oh yeah, the guy despised by Scott and his fellow Republicans. Barack Obama.
President Barack Obama
Floridians forgive and forget
You let Scott’s smarmy behavior convince you that he was a pretty good governor, after all. True, he’d screwed the state’s public school teachers, cutting their already low pay. But hey, that was all forgotten as, with election time looming, he switched and improved the lot of teachers. Sure, he turned away 24,000 jobs by refusing to allow construction of a bullet train from Miami to Orlando and Orlando to Tampa – because the project would have been funded by the Obama administration. Oh well, that was several years ago. All’s forgiven. Then there was his plan to require all persons on government financial assistance to undergo drug testing, which, by pure coincidence (of course), would have been done by a company he owned at a cost to taxpayers, after which it was discovered these welfare recipients had less incidence of drug use than the general population. No matter – that’s history. And Scott did, after all, say that Medicaid should be expanded to cover the uninsured.
So you thought, look, he’s changed. He’s actually good for the state. Do you still think so? Are you aware that he did a complete reversal after the election and, along with his cohorts in the House, turned down $78 billion over 10 years to expand Medicaid to the 830,000 people who are uninsured because they fall in the gap between the current Medicaid qualification and the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare? Did you read that he protested the program would cost the state $5 billion, while neglecting to mention the $78 billion? The difference is a plus $73 billion for the state. Not only that, but the Medicaid expansion was required for the state to continue receiving $2.4 billion in help to hospitals for treating indigent persons. That’s been cut to $1 billion.
Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli
How to make up the difference? Why, taxes, of course. And who pays those taxes? Is it beginning to dawn on you that you voted against your self-interests in keeping this cretin in office and electing or re-electing his idiotically ideological counterparts in the Legislature? Or at least the House half of the Legislature. The Senate, also Republican dominated, had enough sense and control over its Obama hatred to push for what was right for the state’s residents. Alas, the block-headed Steve Crisafulli, speaker of the House, and Scott are so devoid of common sense and common decency that they didn’t budge one iota. So the House has reduced Scott’s planned $673 million tax cut to $300 million.
Hospitals to get hit
Or has it? Speculation is that Scott will resist the walk-back. If he succeeds, that will jeopardize hospitals’ receipt of even the smaller amount. Which means that hospitals will have to increase their fees to pay for the deficit, and insurance costs will rise for everybody.
Many business associations, the hospital industry and most health care groups have cried out for expansion of Medicaid, not just for the benefit of those who would be covered, but for the boost it would give the state’s economy. They are outraged at this development.
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