The Florida House did the nation a solid by refusing to expand subsidized health insurance to 1 million low-income Floridians, argues Speaker Will Weatherford.
Weatherford was instrumental in blocking a proposal favored by the Florida Senate and Gov. Rick Scott that would have used $51 billion in federal Medicaid dollars over 10 years to provide private health insurance to people below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. In 2013, that is $15,865 for an individual and $32,499 for a family of four.
People arguing in favor of Florida expanding Medicaid, one of the biggest facets of President Barack Obama’s health care law, argued it is paid for by taxes Floridians already sent to Washington. Weatherford tried to diffuse that, saying he could not support widening the program because more federal spending by an unreliable government will escalate the country’s debt woes.
"Congress has not passed a budget in four years, and each year the federal government spends over a trillion dollars more than it has, leading to a national debt approaching $17 trillion," he wrote in a May 9 column. "Expanding Medicaid would require borrowing more money, drastically expanding our deficit."
Does the Medicaid expansion drastically raise the deficit? Read more from PolitiFact Florida.