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Congressional Democrats urge Weatherford to support Medicaid expansion

The 10 Democratic members of Florida's Congressional delegation sent a letter to House Speaker Will Weatherford today asking him to accept federal Medicaid expansion funds. The letter expresses support for Sen. Joe Negron's proposal, which would provide subsidized private insurance for 1 million Floridians and draw down an estimated $51 billion in federal aid.

Weatherford says the House will not accept the federal funding and is backing an alternative plan that uses only state funds to subsidize basic coverage for 130,000 people. The Democratic congressmen and woman said that is wrong for Florida.

"We understand the importance of developing a system that works best for our state, but must express our strong opposition to any plan that leaves $55 billion federal dollars on the table at the expense of our neediest working families," the wrote. "These are Florida taxpayer dollars that should stay in Florida."

The signees are U.S. Reps. Corrine Brown, Alcee Hastings, Joe Garcia, Kathy Castor, Ted Deutch, Alan Grayson, Frederica Wilson, Lois Frankel, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Patrick Murphy. In the letter, they remind Weatherford that the last time Florida turned down federal money -- for high-speed rail -- it was re-allocated to other states.

They also repeated many familiar arguments by those who support accepting the federal funding, including Gov. Rick Scott. Click here to Download Congressional Democrats letter to Weatherford.