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The Florida House Speaker’s opposition to Medicaid

Florida House Goes Home Early Over Medicaid Impasse

By Lynn Hatter, WFSU
Kaiser Health News, April 29, 2015

The Florida House – at odds with the state Senate over the expansion of Medicaid – abruptly ended its session three days early on Tuesday, leaving hundreds of bills unrelated to health care unfinished.

The Republican-led state House is firmly against Medicaid expansion, while the Republican-led state Senate, which is still in session, supports it. 

http://kaiserhealthnews.org/news/florida-legislature-goes-home-early-ove...

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Why I oppose the expansion of Medicaid

By Steve Crisafulli, Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives
Miami Herald, April 29, 2015

We oppose expanding Medicaid because it is a broken system with poor health outcomes, high inflation, unseverable federal strings and no incentive for personal responsibility for those who are able to provide for themselves.

The Florida Senate disagrees and, unfortunately, has partnered with the Obama administration to demand Medicaid expansion. They suggest existing safety-net funding (the Low Income Pool, or LIP) and our state budget are tied to federal healthcare policy goals.

If we lose the federal LIP funds, we can create a more limited, state-funded program or we can live without LIP by pursuing other policy options aimed at reducing costs and increasing access to quality healthcare.

Such options include ideas that the Florida House has championed for years. We support expanding the use of telemedicine and expanding the scope of practice for advance-practice nurses to treat patients. We support encouraging direct primary care, which restores the doctor/patient relationship so healthcare is available at dramatically lower costs. We support expanding medical malpractice reform to reduce frivolous lawsuits that increase healthcare costs and expanding choices for where patients get their healthcare by eliminating unnecessary government regulations. We support breaking geographic monopolies for hospitals. We support allowing consumers to buy health insurance across state lines.

http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/article19906113.html

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Comment:

By Don McCanne, MD

Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli criticizes the Medicaid program, but for the wrong reasons, while failing to acknowledge that Medicaid does improve health care access and affordability for low-income individuals and families.

Where he really reveals his true character is in his support of the policy options he lists that he says would reduce costs and increase access to quality health care. Clearly, substituting these policy options for the Medicaid program constitutes an abandonment of any reasonable effort to meet the health care needs of this vulnerable population.

If he really cared, he would use the right reasons to criticize Medicaid and the other features of the Affordable Care Act, and then he would support reform that would make quality health care truly affordable and accessible for everyone - a single payer, improved Medicare for all. But obviously he doesn’t care.