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Delay in health care mandate defuses pressure, but doesn't end Medicaid debate

The Obama administration’s decision to delay the Affordable Care Act health insurance mandate on employers has lessened some of the leverage advocates of expanding Medicaid in Florida had on lawmakers, but it won’t end the debate.

On Wednesday, House Republicans cast the one-year delay as proof that lawmakers are right to worry about the consequences of the law, which they say is deeply flawed.

Supporters of Medicaid expansion, meanwhile, said the decisions of the federal government and the Legislature are unconnected.

“If it’s not ready for prime time, why are they trying to jam it down America’s throat?” House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesely Chapel, said told the Herald/Times. “I think it just clearly shows that the whole thing is just half-baked.”

The Obama administration announced the year-long delay late Tuesday, saying businesses need additional time to comply. As part of the law, businesses with more than 50 employees must provide health care coverage to their workers or face steep fines. More here.