Congresswoman Corrine Brown testified today in the Florida House Select Committee on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the dire importance of the Florida state legislature's willingness to accept federal Medicaid dollars. The state of Florida stands to lose $55 billion in federal funding if the state legislature fails to act on Medicaid expansion, which would cover an additional 900,000 Floridians who are currently without health insurance.
Congresswoman Brown made the following statement:
"It is beyond belief that Florida state House Republicans are advocating for a plan which bypasses billions of dollars in federal aid, and would cover only 130,000 Floridians, just a fraction of the 900,000 Florida citizens who are currently without health insurance.
Ironically, the $55 Billion dollars being provided by the federal government to expand Medicaid to uninsured Floridians is made up of taxes Floridians have already sent to Washington. Yet just like the federal funds for high speed rail that were refused by the governor and quickly disbursed to other states, this funding for Medicaid expansion, if rejected will end up being accepted by other states who choose to provide much needed health coverage to their own state residents, while Florida's nearly one million uninsured citizens continue to be uninsured. Worse yet is that if the federal dollars are rejected, Florida taxpayers would have to pay twice for the healthcare these uninsured citizens will eventually need, as premiums would continue to rise to cover the those without insurance.
Moreover, recent studies have shown that when accounting for factors that reduce costs, states as a whole are likely to see net savings from the Medicaid expansion. Combining Medicaid costs with an estimated $18 billion in state and local non-Medicaid savings on uncompensated care, the Medicaid expansion would save states a total of $10 billion over 2013-2022, compared to the Affordable Care Act without the expansion, and net state savings are likely to be even greater because of other state fiscal gains.
In fact, the additional state cost of implementing the Medicaid expansion is small relative to total state Medicaid spending. The incremental cost to states of implementing the Medicaid expansion would be $8 billion from 2013-2022, representing a 0.3% increase over what they would spend under the Affordable Care Act without the expansion.
In addition, these new federal Medicaid dollars would support approximately 71,300 new jobs across all sectors of Florida's economy, and would increase economic activity in Florida by $8.9 Billion by 2016. Clearly this is just simple math, and if the federal dollars are not accepted, every Floridian will lose."