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After Republicans release plan, House Democrats back down from budget standoff

House Democrats won’t automatically oppose the $74.4 billion budget when it’s voted on Friday.

Although House Minority Leader Rep. Perry Thurston, is “not enthralled” with the health care plan House Republicans unveiled on Thursday, he said it was enough for him to end a plan by Democrats to vote against the spending plan because it doesn’t address Medicaid expansion.

On Tuesday, Thurston and the 43 other House Democrats agreed to oppose the budget because, unlike the Senate, there was no plan proposed by Republicans to expand coverage for an estimated 1 million uninsured Floridians.

But Thursday, the chair of the House’s select committee on the Affordable Care Act, Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, unveiled a new plan. It wouldn’t touch the federal money made available for the expansion. Dubbed Health Choices plus, the state would give each participant $2,000 each year to help them purchase coverage options, enrollees would  have to pay $25 a month in premiums, and adults without disabilities would be required to work at least 20 hours a week.

“Though personally, at first glance, I’m am not enthralled by the proposal,” Thurston said in a statement. “I recognize that it is at least a minimal attempt toward achieving a legislative compromise on the important topic of health coverage for Floridians.”

Thurston said he told caucus members that “I am relieving them of the caucus position we have taken on the state budget and they should vote as they deem appropriate.”

By no means, however, did this indicate Democrats would end up supporting the budget tomorrow, it’s just that they can vote as they deem fit.

“I am confident that House Democratic Caucus members stand with me in strong support -- and hope -- for health care coverage plan by the Legislature will rely upon federal resources to provide coverage for more than 1 million Floridians, save 5,000 lives a year, and provide good-paying, much-needed jobs throughout Florida.”



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Why couldn't that jerk governor we have come up with a plan? He had to leave it to republicans to figure out. The teaparties are done.

health care advocate

The Florida House leadership seems to live in 1913, a time when medical knowledge was such that a doctor could do only simple things like setting a broken bone or simple surgery, and as a result, being able to see a doctor was not a life or death thing as it is now. And because cost was not that outrageous, charity was often a solution.

In 2013 doctors can do wonders, and being able to get medical care can be the difference between living and dying, as I have experienced as a leukemia patient. But as a result their services – and some life saving medications – are so expensive that insurance is necessary for the average person to afford it.

Many lower paying jobs offer no, or wildly insufficient insurance to cover serious illness. Nevertheless, the House leadership seems hell bent to prevent that a single, working adult would get health insurance. What are they thinking?

They think that ‘able-bodied adults’ do not need health care (actually they are living in fantasy land where these people would get sufficient health care coverage via their job). The use of that old fashioned term ‘able-bodied adult’, excluding everyone who has a chronic disease but is not disabled, reveals all of their simplistic thinking.

Apparently, the house leadership thinks that single, working, low income people do not need health care. Cruel, irresponsible behavior, in my opinion, and that is a kind way to put it.


C'mon Democrats, get a spine. If Corcoran or Bean found anything useful in their bill they would get busy with amendments. I was charged $7500 for a 45 minute emergency room visit. How much of that do you think a $2000 (yearly premium) health insurance policy would cover?

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