Friday, May 1, 2015

qotd: The Florida House Speaker’s opposition to Medicaid

Kaiser Health News
April 29, 2015
Florida House Goes Home Early Over Medicaid Impasse
By Lynn Hatter, WFSU

The Florida House – at odds with the state Senate over the expansion of
Medicaid – abruptly ended its session three days early on Tuesday,
leaving hundreds of bills unrelated to health care unfinished.

The Republican-led state House is firmly against Medicaid expansion,
while the Republican-led state Senate, which is still in session,
supports it.


Miami Herald
April 29, 2015
Why I oppose the expansion of Medicaid
By Steve Crisafulli, Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives

We oppose expanding Medicaid because it is a broken system with poor
health outcomes, high inflation, unseverable federal strings and no
incentive for personal responsibility for those who are able to provide
for themselves.

The Florida Senate disagrees and, unfortunately, has partnered with the
Obama administration to demand Medicaid expansion. They suggest existing
safety-net funding (the Low Income Pool, or LIP) and our state budget
are tied to federal healthcare policy goals.

If we lose the federal LIP funds, we can create a more limited,
state-funded program or we can live without LIP by pursuing other policy
options aimed at reducing costs and increasing access to quality healthcare.

Such options include ideas that the Florida House has championed for
years. We support expanding the use of telemedicine and expanding the
scope of practice for advance-practice nurses to treat patients. We
support encouraging direct primary care, which restores the
doctor/patient relationship so healthcare is available at dramatically
lower costs. We support expanding medical malpractice reform to reduce
frivolous lawsuits that increase healthcare costs and expanding choices
for where patients get their healthcare by eliminating unnecessary
government regulations. We support breaking geographic monopolies for
hospitals. We support allowing consumers to buy health insurance across
state lines.


Comment by Don McCanne

Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli criticizes the Medicaid program,
but for the wrong reasons, while failing to acknowledge that Medicaid
does improve health care access and affordability for low-income
individuals and families.

Where he really reveals his true character is in his support of the
policy options he lists that he says would reduce costs and increase
access to quality health care. Clearly, substituting these policy
options for the Medicaid program constitutes an abandonment of any
reasonable effort to meet the health care needs of this vulnerable

If he really cared, he would use the right reasons to criticize Medicaid
and the other features of the Affordable Care Act, and then he would
support reform that would make quality health care truly affordable and
accessible for everyone - a single payer, improved Medicare for all. But
obviously he doesn't care.

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