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Gaetz: With House opposition, Medicaid expansion could be non-starter

With House Speaker Will Weatherford doubling down on opposing Medicaid expansion today, it's sending a clear message to the Senate that the House may not budge on the issue, President Don Gaetz said today.

He pointed out that both the House and the Senate must approve legislation in order for it to go to the governor for approval. Gaetz said the House's hard line doesn't bode well even if the Senate is poised to support accepting federal dollars to expand Medicaid.

With Gov. Rick Scott re-iterating his support of Medicaid expansion during today's State of the State address, that is two out of three "yes"es needed to get something done. But two out of three means no deal, Gaetz said.

"It sounds to me, from what I heard today stated in the Florida House, that the House of Representatives and the speaker are inclining toward 'no,' and if that's the case then nobody else gets to bat, the lights get turned off and we all go home on that issue," he said.

Instead, Senators have also begun looking at how other states are chosing to provide health care to poor, uninsured citizens outside of Medicaid. Lawmakers in both chambers seem especially intrigued by Arkansas, which received federal permission to use Medicaid expansion dollars to pay for people to purchase private insurance via health exchanges.

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