Here is a round up of what folks are saying now that the Senate's Affordable Care Act committee voted to reject Medicaid expansion, same as the House did a week ago. Instead, legislators say they will create an alternative for the state's roughly 1 million uninsured.
House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel:
"I appreciate the Senate Select Committee on PPACA for taking a thoughtful and deliberative approach on the issue of Medicaid expansion. Like the House, the committee gathered the facts and decided that Washington's inflexible approach to force Florida to take a 'one-size fits all' policy choice is not in our state’s best interest.
I look forward to working with Senate President Gaetz as we investigate alternatives that will strengthen the safety net while also ensuring that we do not put future funding for our schools, public safety and protection of our beaches and springs at risk."
Senate Minority Leader Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale:
"Although Republicans voted against what they called 'traditional Medicaid expansion' they turned around and endorsed a program that still relies on the same federal dollars and still extends affordable health care to 1 million Floridians. Whatever name they opt to give the program, the bottom line is that money allocated by the federal government for Medicaid expansion will be the mechanism. In the Senate, the remaining question is no longer 'if,' but 'who.'"
"The Senate Select Committee made the right decision today to reject placing a million more Floridians in a federal Medicaid system that has failed providers, patients and taxpayers. I appreciate the efforts of Senator (Joe) Negron and members of the PPACA Select Committee as they seek a Florida solution, not a Washington solution, to the problem of low income, uninsured Floridians, the vast majority of whom have jobs and are working to support their families."
Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey:
"I am disappointed that the Senate panel tasked with exploring Medicaid expansion has voted to turn down the federal dollars that would have opened up healthcare to over a million Floridians. All we hear about are alternatives, safety nets and vague promises that 'something should be done.' What we actually get are solid votes against our own money coming back to our state. Why did the Legislature wait until the 11th hour to make this decision? Why were these so-called 'alternatives' not being explored and debated long before session started? It is my hope that some straight thinking will take place and both chambers will reconsider the ill-advised decision to turn down these needed dollars."
Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce:
"Let me be clear, if it's a take Washington's mandate or nothing question, the Florida Chamber stands in opposition to Washington’s version of a one-size-fits-all Medicaid expansion. While we are against what Washington passed in its current form, we are for a flexible Florida solution. The Florida Chamber Board of Directors has adopted 11 prerequisites for discussing additional federal funding."
Americans for Prosperity Florida, via Twitter (@AFPFlorida):
"Victory today for taxpayers with Senate rejection of Medicaid expansion. Not counting as a win until we see the alternatives they push for."