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Rick Scott's health care adviser predicts odds of Medicaid expansion 'very low'


“My name is Alan Levine. I'm a conservative," the head of Health Management Associates introduced himself Thursday to a group of healthcare journalists in Doral. Who better than the Republican party healthcare guru to forecast the state's chances of expanding Medicaid? 

"Very low," was Levine's take on those chances, and, on further prodding, "less than 30 percent."

Timing is one of the biggest reasons for his low vote of likelihood. With upcoming elections and the fumbles of the Affordable Care Act's launch, Republicans think they have the upper political hand to stay their course of resistance to Medicaid expansion, even if it means forfeiting billions of federal funds and hurts the poor.

Another reason is the distrust with which state conservatives hold the Obama administration, although the reasons are laced with political hyperbole.  "We were never invited to the table," Levine said of Democrats' healthcare initiatives since the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. 

Levine, who led Gov. Rick Scott's health care transition team three years ago, also cited Florida conservatives' strong sense of self-determination when it comes to healthcare, creating programs that have served in some cases as pilots for national reforms. He believes Medicaid expansion Florida-style would expand health insurance coverage rather than the traditional federal program, and thinks the Obama adminsitration will move closer to giving Florida a clean sheet of paper to design such a program after the election.   

Levine insisted that "I think the right, politically correct and moral decision is to take the federal money for expansion for the poor," adding that even Florida House speaker Will Weatherford has the poor's interests at heart. 

But political interests will overshadow moral ones for the foreseeable future, he said. 

"People have boxed themselves in politically is what I see, and they won't touch it (Medicaid expansion) because it gives the President a victory." 

He also implied that the repeal-and-replace approach might be a strategy that would appeal to Florida conservatives as a DIY form of expanding healthcare coverage for state residents. 

"I think someone should create a bill repealing it (Obamacare) and giving states the freedom to create their own programs. How do you get a conservative to say no to that?" Levine said.



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Didn't Alan Levine go to Louisiana to help with their failing health care which only got worse and now LA is trying to expand Medicaid AND work with the health care act to get their people covered. Mr. Levine, the states that 'are doing it' with the ACA are doing it very very well. Florida's incompetence should NOT be passed along to other states.

not really

Really, it seems your facts are wrong. Louisiana seem to be seriously opposed to the Medicaid Expansion. So no, Really, Louisiana is not "doing it".

ed jenkins

Of course this will not happen because Floridians and Americans do not believe their neighbors should be able to mooch off them and or that they should have to pay their neighbors bills for them. The state has long had generous people that contribute to charity which is the appropriate place for those whose bills are more than they can afford due to unfortunate circumstances. However Floridians do not believe an unfortunate circumstance is the decision to buy a fancy car, extra large TV or multiple dinners at high end restaurants rather than paying one's medical bills or mortgage.

Can't take anymore

Alan Levine has long been a very well paid traveling hatchet man for the Republican far right wing. Alan's star began to rise under JEB!'s terms as governor and has blossomed under the Tea Party revolution. His particular expertise is assuring that poor and underinsured people stay that way and that even the status quo of health care be repealed. He shills for the highest bidder.

Joel Canfield

In reply to Ed Jenkins, do you think people are going bankrupt from health care costs because they're eating too many fancy meals in front of their big screen TVs? Just wondering...since medical bills account for 60% of American bankruptcies.

ed jenkins

A little common sense could allow someone to realize that it is absurd to think that 60% of bankruptcies are from medical bills. The typical household has about 1/3 of its expenses going to housing, with about 15% going toward transportation and 12% to food. Medical bills fall all the way down at 6% of the budget. It is not hard to figure that the high cost of living in a house beyond ones means is always going to be the cause for a bankruptcy and if not spending money on a car one can't afford or too many fancy meals, medical bills are not a significant amount and if they are it is only because one is spending too much in the bigger categories. Of course it should be obvious to all by now after witnessing the housing bubble and collapse that overpaying for houses lead to a large majority of bankruptcies not medical bills.


Like a typical Right Wing Republican Mr. Levine has no plan other than "Don't get sick. If you do get sick, die quickly."


Ed Jenkins - Thanks for the budget advice. We are talking about Medicaid here. If you were making less than $200 a week how big would your house be? That 6% for medical bills might buy you a box of band aids and house brand aspirin.

regina scheele

I receive 600 a mo and they want to charge me 475 mo for ins really! I have ms and aortic stenosis and pad. I will prob. die before I get healthcare its a shame that our pres. wants me to have health care but the governor rick scott does not want me to have health care. im sure that our governor has health care that we pay for. I think he should not have healthcare either if he thinks we don't need it than he should think he doesent need it either. florida needs a wake up call if you want healthcare fire rick scott!!!!!!!!

regina scheele

As for Levine, advise this were paying for your health care!!!!! It should be taken away from everyone in fl. gov..They should not have health care they don't deserve to have something that there people aren't able to get!!!!!Maybe if they were sick and coulden't afford to get it, they would get it!!!!!

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