Monday marked the start of a special session called to pass Florida’s budget. Right on cue, the heavily hospital-connected State Senate is pushing Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion again. With a slightly modified version now rebranded as FHIX 2.0 (or Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange Program), the Florida Senate is pushing against a resolute House and a Governor that has all but threatened a veto.
Florida’s big hospitals are pulling out the stops to put a new shine to the Florida Senate plan. Sadly, the plan simply mirrors the same old Obamacare Medicaid expansion plans from other states. Yet, that has not stopped hospitals from dumping even more money into this fight—on top of the more than 250 lobbyists already deployed to Tallahassee.
For those following the debate in Tallahassee, the crucial point to remember is that the Obama administration promises flexibility until it really matters. When it is time to sign on the dotted line, the administration undercuts previous discussions and pushes states into plans that look very similar to traditional Medicaid expansion.