After Denying Health Insurance To 800k Poor, Florida Lawmakers Want To Reward Themselves With Cheap Insurance

medical-billsBeing that I’m from Texas, I know it might sound a bit hypocritical for me to talk negatively about another state, but at least we didn’t elect a former CEO of a company that was found guilty of defrauding Medicare out of hundreds of millions of dollars – like Florida Gov. Rick Scott. (For the record, that doesn’t mean I think Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is any good – he’s still flat-out nuts.)

It’s no secret that Gov. Scott has done just about everything he can to fight the Affordable Care Act and ensure that around 800,000 Floridians, most living in poverty, are denied access to health insurance. The Florida governor has even gone as far as trying to blame President Obama for the lack of state health care funds – despite the fact that it was his choice to refuse to expand Medicaid.

Then again, Republicans blaming the president for problems they created is nothing new.

Well, if a bill passed by Florida’s House becomes law, state employees – including 54 millionaires serving in the Florida House and Senate – would pay premiums as low as $8.34 per month for health insurance for individuals or $30 for families. The bill in its current form might face some hurdles being passed in the Senate, but the fact that it passed the House shows just how screwed up the state’s priorities really are.

Again, the House passed this bill just a few days after both the Florida House and Senate overwhelmingly defeated a proposal that would have expanded Medicaid to 800,000 mostly poor Floridians.

To be fair, in this instance Governor Scott has been pushing for legislators to pay more for health insurance, although Republican lawmakers have rejected that idea.

“When I saw how cheap it was, I said that’s not right,’’ said State Rep. Larry Lee, a Democrat. “I didn’t feel good about taking the money, knowing there are people out there who could use it.”

I really don’t even know what to say to this; Florida is a state that’s always baffled me. Technically it’s a “Southern state” which usually means it’s solidly “red,” but that’s not really the case. With its many transplants and large immigrant population, Florida might truly be the most diverse of any Southern state. That’s why Florida is one of the most hotly contested “swing states” every presidential election.

It’s no wonder Scott has done just about everything he can to disenfranchise voters who tend to vote for Democrats in the state to ensure Republicans keep as much power as possible. Though it still blows my mind the people of Florida elected this crook to a second term. It’s not just that he’s sleazy, he’s flat-out incompetent as well.

But if you’ve ever wanted a clear-cut example of what politicians really think of poor people, look no further than this. It’s pathetic that after years of denying nearly 1 million poor Floridians access to health insurance, many state lawmakers would approve ridiculously low premiums for themselves.

And while Scott claims to oppose these low premiums, something tells me that this bill, or at least one very similar to it, will ultimately end up being passed.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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