This 'Will Impact Floridians for Decades'
There was an uncommonly stirring debate Monday in the House Select Committee on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act before the 10 to 5 party-line vote killing the Medicaid expansion plan.
Here are some of the remarks:
Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Lutz, chairman of the committee: "One of the concerns is for the federal government to do as they say. If someone came up to me and said, 'You know, Rep. Corcoran, I know you don't have the money and you have a bunch of kids--I have a $4 million house here on the beach. You can have it for the first three years, I have a guy who is going to pay for the whole thing. And after that, all you have to do is come up with the first ten percent.'
"I move in, I get comfortable; my kids are playing every day on the beach. And on the way I say to the guy, I say: 'Wait a minute, who is this great guy who is going to give me all this money?' And they say, 'Don't worry about it, he's a great guy. His name is Gary Madoff.' (Madoff was an investment advisor who stole billions from his clients; he is now in prison.)
"And I say that facetiously, but you cannot rely on someone giving us money when they are borrowing up to 50 percent of all the money they're giving us."
Click here for a round-up of reaction from people on both sides of the debate, from the Miami Herald.
Rep. Elaine Schwartz, D-Broward: "The federal government has never welshed on a deal. We have been in situations before where we’ve had huge debts after World War II and after the New Deal in the '30s. But no one saw the government welshing on anything because the economy bounced back and was vibrant and robust because there were taxes and there was enough to keep us going, and that will happen again.
"I just find the short-sightedness of thinking this is the end of the world if we allow the government to help people who have between 100 and 138 percent of the poverty level. These are people who don’t have a spare dime to pay for private insurance.
"I’m all for private insurance. There are people who cannot afford it. The shortsightedness of not going with this plan is ideologically motivated and I really don’t understand."
Rep. Matt Hudson, R-Naples: "It’s not a question of welshing. It’s a matter of looking at the reality of things. It was alluded to in the past that the government had made good on all its promises. In the past, they didn’t have the enormous entitlement programs that they have today.
"The federal deficit is what the federal deficit is. Numbers are what numbers are. To the people listening at home, to the people in this audience, can you honestly say as we sit through what was just the sequester conversation and was just the fiscal cliff conversation, can anybody honestly say that they have a clear decision view of what the federal government’s budget is going to look like for the rest of this year? Let alone for this decade?
"This decision is based on information and data and the numbers are irrefutable. I would just ask the members to think very cautiously. This decision will outweigh us; we’re all term-limited. Our time is fleeting and we’re blessed to have it.
"This decision will impact Floridians for decades and we know that it hasn’t always worked out so well when people look at short-term gain instead of long-term vision. Members, don’t be caught up in a few pieces of silver and miss the big picture."
Sen. Joe Negron, R-Palm City, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on ACA, while chairing a joint meeting with the House committee: (After some suggested that there aren't enough doctors and nurses to handle an expanded Medicaid population). "Let’s not underestimate the human spirit. We do live in the United States of America.
"Medicaid expansion may or may not be a good idea. But if we decide in some manner, whether it’s through Medicaid expansion or something else, we’d rather have 7 percent uninsured than 21 or 22 percent, somehow I think we can figure it out. ...
"I just can’t believe that in our country our excuse for not treating people who don’t have insurance is that 'we don’t have people to treat you.' I don’t find that a persuasive argument."