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It's Hard to Say How Many Will Die in Medicaid Fight

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

PolitiFact Florida recently tackled the politically sticky and academically difficult question of whether people will die sooner than they should because the state refuses to expand Medicaid to those with incomes under the poverty level. The short answer is yes, probably some will, but it's hard to know precisely how many.

The fact-checkers set about this task after former Gov. Charlie Crist said six Floridians would die prematurely each day because of the state's refusal to take federal funds to expand health coverage to the poor. Crist, now running as a Democrat against incumbent Gov. Rick Scott, was faulting Scott for paying only lip service to the idea. Crist said Scott didn't fight for the funds when House Speaker Will Weatherford refused.

After poring through academic studies and interviewing the researchers, PolitiFact Florida ruled Crist's claim had some truth to it but that his number was on the high end of the estimates. They rated it "half-true."

The entire analysis can be found at this site.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.