GOP Failure to Expand Medicaid to Cost Florida Business Millions, Study Finds
We've already written about how, according to a recent study, the Florida Legislature's failure to expand Medicaid coverage to an estimated 1.27 million low-income Floridians will result in as many as six otherwise avoidable deaths a day in the Sunshine State.
Now we've come across another study about the consequences of that failure, this one about its impact on Florida business, and it's another doozy -- as much as $250 million in tax penalties per year.
At one point last year, just about every political creature in God's Creation, Florida Division -- including Rick Scott and business groups like Associated Industries and the Florida Chamber of Commerce -- had lined up in support of a state Senate bill that would have brought the state more than $50 billion in federal grants (that is, money Florida taxpayers have sent to Washington) in the next decade to expand Medicaid and help economically deprived Floridians. No-brainer, right?
Not according to Weatherford, who used his power to put the kibosh on the deal. He argued that Medicaid sucks, the feds couldn't be trusted to deliver the cash, Florida was already doing plenty, and that Medicaid sucks (never mind his own family relied on it when times were hard). In the Florida House, what the speaker doesn't want, the people don't get. Unless they're his fans in the Tea Party. (Weatherford has failed to respond to New Times' many requests for comment.)