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Sen. Rene Garcia re-introduces Medicaid expansion bill snubbed by House GOP


Republican leaders in the Florida House may be pivoting to other health care topics, but their colleagues in the Senate are making sure Medicaid expansion will remain in the mix.

Sen. Rene Garcia, a Hialeah Republican, has filed legislation that mirrors last year's Senate proposal to use $51 billion federal Medicaid expansion dollars to buy private insurance policies for poor Floridians. That bill had the support of the entire Senate, Gov. Rick Scott and House Democrats.

The legislation died in the House, where all but one Republican voted to support a rival plan that rejected the federal dollars. Garcia said via a press release it would be "irresponsible" to leave that money on the table and forgo the new coverages and jobs Medicaid expansion an alternative would provide.

"The amount of federal dollars available for the state of Florida to increase health coverage is substantial, and Florida would not be the first Republican led state to accept Medicaid expansion," Garcia said via a press release announcing that he filed the bill. "There are currently eight states led by Republican governors or a majority Republican legislature who have agreed to provide expanded Medicaid to their constituents.

"I hope the house puts aside partisan politics and does what is right for the hard working people of our great state," he said.

The bill hasn't yet showed up on tracking websites, but a spokesman for Garcia says it's in the final proofing stages and will be posted soon.


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ed jenkins

The citizens greatly resent that politicians would confiscate their money to pay the bills of other people whether they be medical, housing auto or for fancy meals. They appreciate that the politicians in the house reject this measure as they know that they may get federal taxpayer confiscated money to pay for these bills for a short-term, the state of florida will be stuck paying for these moochers in the end.

Fred Jenkins

Gosh, Mr. Jenkins,
This citizen resents that you feel entitled to speak for any other than yourself. Further, that you would condone the state refusing to accept 'federal taxpayer confiscated money' and instead want the state to confiscate more at the state level to give to their 'constituents'. And alas you pay for the healthcare of the 'moochers' anyway through uncompensated care 'adjustments' to your own healthcare bills.

Tom Cortos

Some vocal opponents to this part of the Affordable Care Act miss the point that they live in a society and owe a debt to society for that privilege. This debt includes paying taxes for fire and police protection, armed services protection and public education, even when these opponents do not directly benefit from the tax-paid protections.
All developed nations but ours have learned the indirect benefits of having an insured society enhance all of us. That others are not suffering or dying from a curable illness is at the top but that economic benefit from early discovering and treatment of an illness is cheaper than late discovery and treatment in an ER should warm the heart of the most self-centered and thoughtless republican.

Can't take anymore

Don Gaetz will slap down any attempt to pass the legislation needed in the Florida Senate to access these federal Medicaid dollars. We are under the rule of ideological cretins that care nothing for anyone less rich than themselves.

ed jenkins

As we have seen some unfortunate readers have been influenced by communist leaders elected to the voters later regret in recent years. Others who unfortunately are uneducated believe that laws in some distant place apply to our state which was set up precisely because founders of this state did not agree with the laws of some distant place. Finally some naïve believe that federal money offered for only a short period of time should be taken to pay costs that in a short period of time will have to be paid entirely by the state and would bankrupt the state, clearly an irresponsible act. The citizens understand that the founders set up a government to be as minimal as possibly only to provide a national defense and law enforcement and settle disputes among citizens as well as some minor infrastructure and tasks. These citizens are quite generous however and have donated large amounts of money to charities for those who are unable to provide for themselves and by unfortunate they do not mean those who spend large amounts of money on extravagant meals, luxury autos and homes and even worse dangerous illegal drugs.

Joe Phillips

Hopefully this bill, which had bi-partisan support in the legislature last year, will pass this time. Kudos to Hialeah Republican Rene Garcia for working on this issue and taking a stand.


I don't know how Weatherford and his minions sleep at night knowing that they have refused healthcare to nearly a million Florida citizens, mostly children. Our tax money went to Washington DC and these representatives of Florida refuse to make use of it. They would rather give the impression that the ACA has failed.

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