Weatherford On Accepting Federal Medicaid Money: 'Never Say Never'

Apr 3, 2013

House Speaker Will Weatherford says he’s now open to considering some federal aid to increase insurance access to more people. It’s a change from where the Speaker started from earlier in the session.

Florida lawmakers rejected adding a million more people to the state’s Medicaid rolls as part of the federal healthcare law. But they say they’re open to alternatives.  Two proposals are making their way through the Senate. Meanwhile the House says it will craft a third plan, and House Speaker Will Weatherford says he’s open to a proposal that targets funding for vulnerable populations:

“We’re interested in in the Florida House is creating a sustainable plan. A plan that addresses the true safety net needs in the state of Florida and at the same time is sustainable by the state. You know, you never say ‘never’ in this business. I’ve learned that," he said.

The original Medicaid Expansion outlined in the Affordable Care Act has the federal government paying 100 percent of the cost for the extra people in the first three years, with support dropping to 90 percent in the out years. State economists say the expansion would cost Florida $3.5 billion. The federal government would give the state more than $50 billion over the next decade to support the expanded population.