Florida: Glory be! Conservative GOP lawmaker pushes for #ACA Medicaid expansion

Shout-out to Jody Young for bringing this Florida Politics article by Christine Sexton my way this evening:

A ‘Nixon goes to China’ moment? Conservative Republican pushes for state Medicaid expansion.

  • 'These are not handouts. We’re not throwing money down the drain. We are helping our working class Americans get ahead.'

A conservative Florida Republican doctor who has been an ally of Gov. Ron DeSantis and his handling of COVID-19 says it’s time for the state to expand Medicaid despite the long-running opposition of GOP legislators.

...[Rep. Joel] Rudman said the loss of Medicaid coverage for hundreds of thousands of Floridians this year illustrates the need for change. A spreadsheet compiled by House Democrats shows of the 524,076 Floridians who have lost coverage in the last four months, nearly 50% are under the age of 21.

...“It’s not that these people are dying on the street, it’s that they’re costing us more money by showing up in the emergency room because they do not have access to a primary care physician. They do not have access to Nemours (Children’s Hospital). They do not have access to specialty care,” Rudman said.

“And so, when we talk about things like Medicaid expansion, and when we talk about caring for our children, in the long run, it really is cost savings. That’s the argument I need to make with my fellow colleagues.”

This story is giving me similar vibes to the one I wrote about last month in Mississippi:

Republican Rep. Jason White, heir apparent to the House speakership, said Medicaid expansion, long a bugaboo for the state GOP, will be on the table and at least thoroughly vetted as a solution to Mississippi’s health care crisis next year.

“I think we as Republicans have probably earned a little bit of the bad rap we get on health care in Mississippi,” White said in a Thursday interview with Mississippi Today. “Part of that is that we haven’t had a full-blown airing or discussion of Medicaid expansion. We’ve just said, ‘No.’

“Now, I’m not out here on the curb pushing Medicaid expansion, but we are going to have full discussions on that and on all facets of health care in Mississippi,” White said.

I don't have much to add to the Florida story beyond keeping my fingers crossed. As I noted in my headline on the Mississippi story, I wouldn't hold my breath, but anything is possible.