Florida currently offers no coverage options to single adults below the 100% poverty line, expanding Medicaid could cover all those people. The federal government pays the majority of the costs (100% at first, 90% over time). Florida can even come up with their own Medicaid expansion alternative. See updates on Expansion states here.

The General Battle Between Small Government and Smart Government

As of April 9th, 2015 Florida has not expanded Medicaid. Meanwhile the Medicaid battle rages on as Libertarians push for small Government, Republicans reject of anything Democrat, and Liberals fight tooth over nail to ensure millions of Americans have access to coverage (even if that coverage might not be perfect and will come with a bill). The battle isn’t just happening in Florida, it’s happening around the country. It’s perhaps nowhere more apparent than in Montana where expanding Medicaid and helping ensure all Montanans are taken care of has support and concerns from both the small Government and smart Government sides (Montana is all about doing their own thing, and tend not to fit in political boxes much to frustration of some Libertarians, Republicans, and Democrats).

Just remember non-expansion states. This isn’t about left and right, this is about your constituents and state budgets. If you don’t think the way the federal Government expanded Medicaid is the right way, file your waiver, create your alternative, and prove that you can do it better. Thinking the federal government might pull funding down the road isn’t unfounded, but it isn’t a reason to put your head in the sand. “No” doesn’t cut it when hardworking Americans are left without access to care due to political battles. Remember for every person without coverage it’s a potential unpaid hospital bill, written off, and that means less state revenue.

Medicaid and CHIP Eligibility Levels

To view the modified adjusted gross income (MAGI)-based eligibility levels, expressed as a percentage of the federal poverty level (FPL) and by monthly dollar amount and family size for Medicaid and CHIP, visit the National Medicaid and CHIP Eligibility Levels page for more information.

State MedicaidExpansion Children – Medicaid Separate CHIP Pregnant Women Parents3 Other Adults
Ages 0-11 Ages 1-52 Ages 6-182 Medicaid CHIP
Florida N 206% 140% 133% 210% (1-18) 191% N/A 30% 0%6

See full chart from Medicaid.Gov

Why Florida Isn’t Expanding

Reading the above you may say, “why would Florida not do it?”. Your answer would be two fold 1) Cost / a distrust the Federal Government will actually foot the bill over time 2) Government / a distrust that the Federal Government can effectively use tax dollars (the conclusion being taxes must be cut and spending reigned in, small Government regardless of the human cost). Expanding Medicaid is hard to describe as small Government.

“The short version of the dispute is as follows. Florida has been negotiating with the Obama administration over expanding Medicaid in the state to some 800,000 people under the Affordable Care Act. But Governor Rick Scott seriously complicated things the other day when he pulled back his previous support for the expansion.

Scott did this in reaction to the fact that the federal government is on the verge of ending some of the billions in Medicaid funding for another program — the Low-Income Pool, or LIP — which funnels money to hospitals for low-income patients. The feds have said Florida should transition over to getting that money from the Medicaid expansion. ButScott argued that, because the feds are pulling back funding for LIP, that shows they can’t be trusted to follow through in providing federal money for the Medicaid expansion, which will eventually mean the state will be on the hook for its cost.” – WashingtonPost.com

Find out more about Rick Scott and Florida’s Medicaid Expansion from WashingtonPost.com. It isn’t required reading, but about 800,000 Floridians could have access to care for the first time if awareness is spread. So do feel guilty if you skip over the article. Also feel guilty if you want a tax cut at the expense of Medicaid expansion, seriously that is 800,000 of your neighbors Boca and Palm springs. Don’t want to foot the whole bill in the future? We get that. So let’s get to working on the alternative, this isn’t about Rick Scott Vs the Federal Government, this is about 800,000 Floridians (many of which are hard working Americans who simply have household incomes below the 100% Federal Poverty Line).

State State Medicaid & CHIP Enrollment National
Total Medicaid & CHIP Enrollment (January 2015) (Preliminary) Comparison of January 2015data to July-September 2013 Average Enrollment Total Medicaid & CHIP Enrollment, all States (January 2015) (Preliminary) Comparison of January 2015data to July-September 2013 Average Enrollment
Net Change % Change Net Change % Change
Florida 3,404,156 299,160 9.63% 69,975,289 11,151,468 19.29%

What do you think?

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Bob on

And of course now the Governor is crying for federal dollars to shore up his failed economy….having the audacity to blame the president for his state’s failure to expand Medicaid. My, my, my the worm begins to turn. Suddenly Republicans are backing away (ok, running away like it was a poison, which it is) from their staunch opposition to subsidies, and now they want the money to expand coverage, but without having to say “Obamacare” was responsible.

Colleen on

I am 60 years old, have worked in healthcare since I was 19 years old and always in facilities that didn’t offer retirement plans or long term insurance of any kind. I now have health issues that prevent me from working outside the home, but work every day for a friend and have for 15 yrs. Helping her do things she can’t do for herself. I need medicaid and can’t get it right now because I am a single person. What is right about that? Florida needs to get their head out of the dark place. I just need some help until I can draw my social security and get medicare. If it is still available by then.

Coral Memories on

Governor Scott is short sighted. The cost of emergency care for the uninsured has been documented as being 10 times more expensive as covering people with minimal insurance so they can prevent disease and avoid the emergency room. Scott needs to be voted out of office at the next opportunity.

ZENOBIA JACKSON on

I agree. I bet Gov. Scott whom I did not vote for do not have to be concerned about his health care needs or his family for that matter. I read a post where a lady wrote she has worked in the health care field all her life and she has not health care insurance now that she needs it because she is single. Well I know the story. I am in the same boat. I go to work everyday thank God I have a job but at the end of my wages I can not afford the health care insurance and that is even Obama Care. It is a shame to say the least that this ” America the Great” have abandoned their citizens in need. As they squabble about this, that and the other, people are literally dying from not being able to get the health care they need to live. Shame on Florida and Shame on the United States of America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!