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Fasano Says Medicaid Rejection Is A "Cop Out"; Hospital Groups Differ


State Representative Mike Fasano is calling the legislature’s decision not to expand Medicaid under the federal health law a quote “cop out”. Fasano made the remarks at a rally put on by the state’s hospital associations Tuesday:

 “To hear from those in both chambers that we’re going to come up with an alternative. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s a cop out. Nothing more than a cop out. We should have been working on this for the past two years," he said.

Hospitals pushed for the expansion to cut down on uncompensated care costs. The Florida Hospital Association says its okay with an alternative plan to expand insurance coverage using the Florida Healthy Kids program.

"What we want is for people to be covered," said FHA President Bruce Rueben. "However the state finds its way to getting perhaps a million Floridians access to health insurance is what we want to see happen."

But the Safety Net Hospital Alliance, which serves a large share of people without insurance, says it would rather have had the Medicaid Expansion, because that funding was guaranteed.

"We want uninsured Floridians to have access to care. Right now the only sure thing that's on the table...is the Medicaid Expansion. We support that Medicaid expansion," said Tony Carvalho, president of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida. "However, if the legislature can come up with alternatives give us access to the federal dollars and provides coverage...we'd gladly look at it, work at it, and maybe even support them in it."

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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