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Federal medicaid cuts could cost Florida jobs

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Congresswoman Kathy Castor (D)

By James Call

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-974487.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – Budget negotiations are expected to intensify in Washington as an August deadline to raise the nation's debt ceiling approaches. House Republicans propose slashing Medicaid as part of a plan to reduce the deficit. James Call reports a Florida Congresswoman says the proposal would cost Florida jobs.

Congressional Republicans are supporting a plan that reduces the amount of money spent on Medicaid and gives states a block grant to provide health care for the poor. A Families USA study indicates the proposal would cost Florida 75-thousand jobs over 10 years. Tampa Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor said she talked to health care providers and they predict the proposal would lead to more unemployment.

"In the Tampa area I'm talking about Tampa General Hospital, St. Joseph's Hospital, All children hospitals, a lot of the nursing homes throughout our community that takes care of our elderly neighbors. They are going to have to lay people off."

Meanwhile, the White House and congressional leaders hope to reach agreement on
budget deficit cutting proposals, Democrats are trying to re-frame Medicaid as
an economic development program.