Florida Medicaid Expansion Still Up in the Air

Even the Black Legislative Caucus is surprised they and the Governor are on the same side.

After leading the national fight against Obama Care, Governor Rick Scott shocked fellow Republicans when he called for the state to expand the Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Under the plan more than a million working poor would be covered at no cost to the state for at least three years. "Quality health care should be accessible and affordable for all Floridians."

Now five weeks into a nine week legislative session, the House has done nothing and the Senate has two competing plans. State Senator Arthenia Joyner of The Black Caucus says legislative leaders are risking people's lives. "Over a ten year period, we're looking at fifty billion dollars that could come to us from the federal government. There is no excuse for this."

Florida hospitals have come out in favor of the plan. A University of Florida study shows that the state could create more than a hundred thousand jobs.

Monica Russo is a spokeswoman for the Service Employees International Union. "And people like this, the Speaker and others in the House who are saying "no, no, no" are enjoying health care paid for by us."

Karen Woodall of The Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy, says lawmakers are still trying to fight a fight they've already lost. "The state lost the lawsuit, the President was re-elected."

The NAACP says it has already begun mobilizing the million people who would be covered to get them to the polls in 2014.
Reporter: "Does it strike you as odd that the Black Caucus is on the same side as Governor Rick Scott?"
Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami

After the first three years of the plan, the state would share ten percent of the cost.

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