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Business Leaders Call On Lawmakers To Act On Medicaid

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WMFE
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More than 150 local business, hospital and civic leaders met in downtown Orlando Friday to discuss the impacts of the Florida Legislature’s impasse on Medicaid expansion.

Central Florida Partnership and the Central Florida Chambers of Commerce Alliance hosted the health care briefing. Mark Brewer is president and CEO of Central Florida Foundation, which is home for more than 400 charitable funds. He says the bottom line is business leaders want lawmakers to act.

“Now we’re literally at the goal line. We’re at the end of the game and it’s time to make a decision and to do it relatively quickly because if we pass through this session and end up waiting for a special session, then the problem just gets bigger and tougher to solve,” said Brewer.

Brewer says when 800,000 Floridians don’t have health coverage and have to use emergency rooms, hospitals shift the costs to those who can pay. He says it’s costing the business community about eight percent more to provide health insurance to their employees.

The Florida Senate has a plan to expand Medicaid with a state-run health insurance marketplace, but the House opposes the plan. House lawmakers say Medicaid is a failed system and expanding it would cost the state too much.