The White House has a Medicaid expansion argument for Gov. Rick Scott and Florida Republicans: It creates jobs.
A state-by-state report to be released Wednesday (an advance copy was provided to the Tampa Bay Times) estimates that Florida would generate 63,800 jobs, mainly in health care, from 2014-2017. That’s the three years that the federal government would have paid the entire cost of providing health care to 848,000 people.
The study by the Council of Economic Advisers — titled “Missed Opportunities” — is part of an ongoing push by the Obama administration on a central part of the Affordable Care Act. ” It makes a number of other claims evaluating states that have expanded and Florida and 23 others that have not.
It claims, for instance, that the number of Floridians experiencing depression would drop by 68,000. Or that 38,00 fewer people would see “catastrophic out-of-pocket costs in a typical year.” The report relies on the Urban Institute among other sources.
“Today’s report is yet another reminder that access to affordable health care makes a real difference to families, hospitals and state economies across the country,” President Obama
said in a statement. “I applaud the governors and state legislatures of both parties who have done the right thing and expanded Medicaid in their states, and I urge the governors and state legislatures who have not yet expanded Medicaid to put their constituents’ health over partisan politics and give millions more Americans the access to affordable health care they deserve.”
Scott, who emerged from obscurity in opposition to Obama’s health care law, initially rejected the expansion then, in February 2013, reversed himself. “While the federal government is committed to pay 100 percent of the cost, I cannot, in good conscience, deny Floridians the needed access to health care,” Scott said, talking about helping the “poorest and weakest” Floridians.
Yet he did not push the Republican-controlled House, which may not have budged anyway for the neophyte Scott. Federal money has enticed the Florida GOP before — the stimulus bailed out the state budget during the recession — but the opposition to the health care law has been intense.
White House to Rick Scott: Medicaid expansion would create 63k jobs | Tampa Bay Times.