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AARP Florida: Older Floridians looking to Gov. Scott, elected officials for pragmatic leadership

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Tallahassee, Fla.  – AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson issued this statement Monday in reaction to a straight party-line vote in a House committee not to recommend expansion of Medicaid: 

“Today’s vote is the opening round of what should be a continuing debate on how to provide health coverage to nearly 900,000 uninsured Floridians, including 260,000 Floridians age 50 to 64,” Johnson said.  “AARP Florida calls on Florida’s elected leaders to put forward their ideas for how to provide equal or greater access to care for those struggling without health coverage.  If finding such solution is a challenge, then it’s time for Florida’s leader to focus on the reasons to support Medicaid expansion rather than to oppose it.”

“The truth is, any of us except the wealthiest Floridians is vulnerable to the loss of health coverage if we lose a job.  Expanding Medicaid can provide uninsured Floridians with vital coverage, including preventive care that can save all of us money.  And Floridians don’t want to send $26 billion in their tax dollars to other states to pay for health coverage for uninsured residents of those states.”

“Spending those dollars in Florida would help support Florida hospitals and other health care providers and grow jobs at a time when ordinary Floridians badly need new job growth.  That’s why Florida’s business community, health-care providers, consumer advocates and others support accepting the federal offer of expanded health coverage. “

“It’s time for leaders across the political spectrum to set aside ideology and come together around solutions that work for ordinary Floridians,” Johnson said.

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