Scott Budget Leaves Out Uninsured

Jan 30, 2014

Judging from what they say and what's in the proposed state budget, Florida's top elected officials care about children, the elderly and the seriously disabled. Also, businesses of all sizes.

Map shows states that have decided to expand Medicaid, those that show no movement toward it -- including Florida -- and those in the middle.
Credit Kaiser Family Foundation

Others -- including the poor, the uninsured and state workers -- get less attention. There isĀ  no provision for low-income adults to get health insurance, even though the money is available, and most state workers won't get a raise. The good news for state employees is that there won't be big staff cuts, for a change.

Gov. Rick Scott's proposed $74.2 billion budget, described by the Times/Herald Tallahassee bureau, omits the federal funds available for Medicaid expansion. Without a strong push from the governor, there will not likely be a change in House Speaker Will Weatherford's rejection of the $51 billion in federal funds available to cover those under the poverty level.

Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, objects to taking the money for a variety of ideological reasons, but mainly because he hates both Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. The funding comes from Medicaid and is authorized by the ACA.

Reporters asked Weatherford on Wednesday about Medicaid Expansion, and he indicated it would be unwise to count on it, as the Tampa Tribune reports.

The topic is so dead that the Washington Post's Wonkblog left Florida out in a column about states that are still considering Medicaid Expansion.

Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz told editors at the Associated Press annual pre-session meeting on Wednesday that they had the following priorities, according to the Florida Current:

--Do a better job of monitoring sexual predators who target children.

--Step up oversight of assisted living facilities for the elderly and disabled.

--Get rid of the waiting list of persons with disabilities who need assistance.