Florida's Republican legislative leaders say they believe they can get full federal funding for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, even though they propose to use it to buy subsidized private health insurance.
If they are wrong, they will be giving up a huge windfall of federal funding, which state economists last week estimated at $51 billion over the next decade. But if they are correct, they will have accomplished quite a political feat:
They will be able to say they extended health coverage to about 1 million low-income uninsured Floridians without having to go along with two programs they hate: the Affordable Care Act a.k.a. "ObamaCare," and Medicaid, the joint state and federal insurance program for some groups of poor people.
In other words, they can pass Medicaid Expansion without having to admit it, said state Rep. Mark Pafford when Health News Florida told him about the letter. "It looks like they're saying one thing and doing another."