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Affordable Care Act

Next Speaker Says No to Medicaid

crisafulli.jpg
Florida Legislature

State Rep. Steve Crisafulli, in line to become Florida House Speaker in 2014,  says he will do the same thing that current Speaker Will Weatherford did: block Medicaid expansion.

And just like Weatherford, Crisafulli says he will refuse to accept the federal funds that have been earmarked for Florida over the next decade, News Service of Florida reports.

The House's decision to block this key part of the Affordable Care Act means that close to 800,000 low-income adults in Florida who have incomes below the poverty level will be left out when those who earn slightly more will get subsidized coverage for 2014.  The poverty level for an individual is about $11,500 a year.

If Florida took the money today, it would get an estimated $51 billion over 10 years. But the amount drops sharply each year between now and 2017, then becomes a matching fund of 90 percent federal money and 10 percent state.

Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, gave the same reasons for opposing Medicaid expansion that Weatherford does: that it already takes up too much of the budget and that the state should come up with its own plan. He rejected the compromise Senate plan, which would have accepted the money and used it for private coverage for the affected population, assuming federal consent.