Monday, June 8, 2015

qotd: Florida legislators support taxpayer-funded insurance - for themselves

Miami Herald
June 4, 2015
Florida House rejects Senate health insurance expansion plan
By Mary Ellen Klas

The Florida House rejected a Senate bill to expand health insurance
coverage to thousands of Floridians on Friday, putting a temporary end
to a bitter and divisive legislative fight that saw no winners.

Aided by the threatened veto of Gov. Rick Scott, the GOP-majority House
voted 72-41 to kill a long-shot attempt by Senate Republicans to find a
way to draw down federal Medicaid money to augment health insurance for
as many as 600,000 low-income working Floridians.

"Medicaid is socialized health care insurance," said Rep. Jason Brodeur,
R-Sanford, saying the Senate plan creates "permanent dependency" on
handouts for "able-bodied childless adults" and props up a broken health
care system.


Tampa Bay Times
June 6, 2015
Florida legislators benefit from heavily subsidized health insurance
By Mary Ellen Klas

One of the chief arguments Florida House Republicans made Friday when
they rejected the Senate plan to help 600,000 working poor get health
insurance is that it would create a taxpayer-funded entitlement and
would be hard to repeal.

What they didn't mention during the debate is that they are entitled to
a very generous health insurance package that costs $22,000 a year —
with premiums mostly covered by Florida taxpayers.

According to financial disclosure statements, 54 legislators are


Comment by Don McCanne

Who does not believe that absolutely all of us should have the health
care that we need when we need it? Well, one obvious group is our
elected legislators. Otherwise we would have had a universal national
health program many decades ago. What can Florida add to our
understanding of this resistance to ensuring universal care?

Florida legislators, many of whom are millionaires, provide themselves
with very generous health insurance, paid mostly by the taxpayers. Yet
these same legislators refuse to expand Medicaid to cover 600,000
working poor Floridians even though most of the costs would be covered
by taxpayers in other states.

Why is this? Is it because they think each individual should be
responsible for purchasing their own coverage (even though it is an
"entitlement' for the legislators)? Surely most understand that these
low-income workers cannot afford to pay for health insurance. Since the
legislators are opposed to mandating employers to provide the insurance,
it cannot be that they believe these individuals should purchase their
own insurance as that is an impossibility.

Do they really believe that these low-income workers would develop a
"permanent dependency" on taxpayer-funded health insurance coverage,
while they themselves are immune to a permanent dependency mindset
regarding their own taxpayer-funded coverage?

They object to socialized health insurance, yet do they really believe
that it is socialized only when it is provided to low-income workers,
yet it is not socialized when the government provides them with their
own insurance and eventually provides then with Medicare in their
retirement years? What is there about social insurance being evil when
it is provided to low-income workers, yet being a virtue when it is
provided to millionaire legislators?

So what is it about not only Florida legislators but all legislators
throughout the nation who have ensured their own health security at
taxpayer expense but refuse to ensure comparable health security for
each of their own constituents? (The labels that come to mind are too
inflammatory to honestly answer that here.)

Does the electorate really approve of this double standard? Or is it
time for citizen action?

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