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Florida Senate President shuts down Medicaid expansion hopes just one day after Democratic lawmaker filed expansion proposal


Florida – Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo made her position on Medicaid expansion abundantly clear during the opening day of the 2024 legislative session. Despite the push from Democrats for extending subsidized insurance coverage for low-income individuals through Medicaid, Passidomo firmly stated her opposition to this idea.

Passidomo acknowledged the ongoing debate around Medicaid expansion, which has been a recurring topic in the state’s legislative discussions over the past decade. However, she emphasized her reluctance to revisit this issue in the current session. “I want to be clear. I’m not going to spend the next 60 days re-litigating Medicaid expansion. I understand the arguments both for and against,” she declared on Tuesday morning. “We have had the debate several times over the last decade. Medicaid expansion is not going to happen. It is not a quick fix. It is not a panacea. In fact, if you cannot actually schedule an appointment with a health care provider, Medicaid expansion is nothing more than a false government promise.”

Her comments come at a time when Medicaid expansion remains a key priority for the Democrats. Just a day before Passidomo’s speech, Democratic Rep. Dotie Joseph filed a proposal to broaden the program’s coverage. Moreover, Democratic leaders in the House have highlighted this as one of their top goals.

Despite her stance against Medicaid expansion, Passidomo is advocating for an alternative approach to healthcare improvement. Her proposed “Live Healthy” legislation focuses on enhancing healthcare access in other ways. The initiative includes strategies to attract and retain healthcare workers, such as creating additional residency slots and offering a student loan reimbursement program. Passidomo views this as a comprehensive and critical approach to addressing the state’s healthcare needs. “This is a robust package of bills. It is complex but critically important. In order to care for our growing population and meet the increased demand for health care, we must expand our workforce, increase efficiencies, and elevate quality,” she explained.

Passidomo’s statements and proposals indicate a clear departure from Medicaid expansion as a solution to healthcare challenges in Florida. Instead, her focus is on strengthening the healthcare workforce and enhancing service quality, signaling a new direction in the state’s approach to healthcare policy.

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