Florida's refusal to expand the Medicaid program - thanks chiefly to House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, Majority Leader Richard Corcoran, and Gov. Rick Scott - has had numerous negative consequences for our state. One of the more tragic is that Florida children who would have received coverage with expansion have not. As the Palm Beach Post recently reported:
States that extended Medicaid coverage to more uninsured adults saw nearly double the rate of decline in uninsured children as compared to states that didn’t accept the ACA’s Medicaid option, the report found.
Florida remains one of 22 states that refuse for political ideological reasons to expand Medicaid. Earlier this year, the effort in the state Senate to expand the program was met with such resistance in the House that it delayed agreement on the budget, forcing a special session.
Dr. Louis St. Petery, a pediatric cardiologist who has fought for poor children in Florida to receive medical care, said it was shameful that the Sunshine State is one of six states with the highest number of uninsured children.
“It is time for Florida to quit being an outlier and put significant effort into reducing the number of uninsured children,” he said.
We agree: it's time for Florida to catch up. If you do too, be sure to take action, urge Florida legislators to support Medicaid expansion, and spread the word to your Florida friends and family.