There is a large, bipartisan coalition that supports using federal Medicaid expansion dollars to provide insurance coverage to poor, working-class Floridians. But their efforts were blocked last year by House Republicans.
That hasn't stopped Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Miami, and Rep. Amanda Murphy, D-New Port Richey, from trying again by filing identical bills asking for reconsideration of the failed plan. Both joined the League of Women Voters of Florida for a rally today where they implored the House GOP to "take the money."
Both SB 710 and HB 869 have been referred to committees but have yet to be slotted for a hearing. Garcia feels confident he will get one in the Senate, but Murphy may have a tougher road. She spoke to House leaders before filing the bill but there is no indication the Republican majority is willing to budge.
Business and civic groups that support Medicaid expansion have to work to change that, Garcia said.
"We just need to get the message out, educate the House members and put the pressure on the leaderhsip in the House to accept these dollars and move forward," Garcia said.