Conservative advocacy groups file opposition to Medicaid ballot question

florida medicaid
Voters are not adequately informed of the possible fiscal impacts on the state, opponents say.

Two conservative advocacy organizations on Thursday filed a brief with the Florida Supreme Court opposing a proposed constitutional amendment expanding Medicaid.

Americans for Prosperity – Florida and the Foundation for Government Accountability, based in Naples, argue that voters are not adequately informed of the possible fiscal impacts on the state.

“Floridians deserve access to the best health care options possible, but this proposal would mislead voters into expanding a broken system and force our legislature into permanently diverting our state’s limited resources away from education, roads and other government responsibilities,” AFP-FL state director Skylar Zander said in a statement.

The groups argue that the amendment, proposed by the Florida Decides Healthcare political committee, violates the constitution’s single-subject rule for proposed amendments by altering executive, legislative and local government functions.

Additionally, by requiring the Governor to expand Medicaid and the Legislature to allocate funds, the state would be locked into the expanded program, creating a substantial burden on the state government, they wrote.

The high court delayed the amendment, originally scheduled for next year’s ballot, to 2022 when it took up the case.

“We urge the Florida Supreme Court to stop this unconstitutional proposal in its tracks,” Zander said.

Also on Thursday, the Florida House and Senate filed their own briefs raising a series of legal objections to a proposed ballot initiative that would require expansion of Medicaid to cover more low-income adults. The briefs argue, in part, that the proposal would be misleading to voters and improperly infringe on the Legislature’s powers.

For example, the briefs contend the proposed amendment would have broader effects than expanding Medicaid to more people. They argue it would effectively force the Legislature to participate in the broader Medicaid program — which is optional for states.

“The Florida Legislature currently chooses to participate in the federal Medicaid program and to appropriate funds to that effect,” the House’s 47-page brief said. “But neither federal law nor the Florida Constitution requires Florida to participate in Medicaid. The initiative proposal removes the Legislature’s discretion to opt out of Medicaid. Instead, it effectively requires the Legislature to enact policies — and to make billions of dollars in appropriations — to allow Florida to continue participating in Medicaid in order to ensure that ‘Medicaid benefits’ are provided to the proposed expansion population.”

Constitutional amendments require 766,200 signatures before going to voters. The Medicaid expansion’s petition currently has 90,390, according to the Florida Division of Elections.

The proposed ballot language must be approved by the Florida Supreme Court: Requires State to provide Medicaid coverage to individuals over age 18 and under age 65 whose incomes are at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level and meet other nonfinancial eligibility requirements, with no greater burdens placed on eligibility, enrollment, or benefits for these newly eligible individuals compared to other Medicaid beneficiaries. Directs Agency for Health Care Administration to implement the initiative by maximizing federal financial participation for newly eligible individuals.

Ballot amendments must earn at least 60 percent of the vote to pass.

___

The News Service of Florida contributed to this post.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


5 comments

  • Pedro

    November 14, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    Exactly how is Medicaid a broken system?

    • Ian

      November 18, 2019 at 4:41 pm

      Not sure. Why don’t you ask Barack Obama what he meant when he said Medicaid was a broken system?

  • Jan L

    November 15, 2019 at 6:37 am

    These “conservative advocacy groups” need to take a look at the most recent report on Medicare expansion. Wouldn’t it be a pleasant surprise if these “groups” who purportedly are concerned about the health of our citizens, would take scientific research and apply it to the GOOD of our voters.

    Medicaid Expansion Has Saved at Least 19,000 Lives, New Research Finds
    State Decisions Not to Expand Have Led to 15,000 Premature Deaths
    https://www.cbpp.org/research/health/medicaid-expansion-has-saved-at-least-19000-lives-new-research-finds?fbclid=IwAR05AeVQi-2SfvDxhQUuxoZ3YK1t4IIB-OZTmqpuD_AnR4HjR5kGawO2bf0

  • Sonja Emily Fitch

    November 18, 2019 at 3:51 am

    OF COURSE THE “CONSERVATIVES” ARE A BUNCH OF WHITE MEN TAKING AND ABUSING THE COMMON GOOD. THE RHETORIC AROUND HEALTH CARE IS ABOUT THE MONEY AND THE MONEY TO BE GIVEN TO SLICK CORPORATIONS INSTEAD OF THE THE COMMON GOOD. SIMILAR TACTICS ARE BEING USED BY LOOTING LENNY TO STEAL JEA FROM THE PUBLIC AND GIVE IT TO A BUNCH OF RICH WHITE MEN..THE JEA BOARD HAS BEEN “BRIBED” WITH BUY OUTS TO LIE TO THE PUBLIC.
    MANY YEARS AGO IN BROWARD COUNTY SLICK HUMANA(RICK SCOTTet al) CAME IN AND LOW BIDDED ON SCHOOL BOARD HEALTH INSURANCE FOR EMPLOYEES, WON THE CONTRACT, AND BEGAN THE SYSTEMATIC DESTRUCTION OF CARE FOR SCHOOL BOARD EMPLOYEES. THE MOST HORRIBLE ACTION TAKEN WAS TO STOP SOME CANCER TREATMENTS THAT HUMANA DEEMED NEEDED TO HAVE ANOTHER OPINION ON TREATMENT. SOME OF THE EMPLOYEES DIED.

  • Daryl D Beshirs

    November 21, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    My dad gave me house, and I have verbal agreements between himself and myself, I don’t have two houses or an extra one to give, I’m on disability,770 a month,
    I may not see my dad, dew to keeping me away from the estate by law of care here ,,
    Hermies my dad got sick ,track infection elderly, here in Tallahassee, ok..
    I asked my cousins to check on him, I got here after they said he was in the hospital,
    My dad’s ex-wife hospital she retired from . My dad in x-ray his life , in medical..
    My cousins refuse to witness of me saying he and I have arrangements, thier lawyers and state blocking me,,
    What bussiness of this is t hier besides common property in Arizona, we have none other then this,
    He and I at forbade to get to a lawyer or know the rights,,even though given preemption to return home we where blocked..
    After Hermies, Irma came this came to being 29 days in THE,
    I been given on ever call for help..we can not help you, or give legal advice..ive had since had the house sold .it was the first thing of the estate they went after knowing this, so my father had no other way but to be forced to pandor to the whoring..
    I can only watch on the side lines ..and not see.my father or he me.. ?
    I’m his only son..and one sister..
    The issues of family in the cross fire..or is sure they have agaist my father appoint the object to the subject…
    Ummmm..
    Their ball
    Their bat
    Their gloves
    Leave and go to GA..
    Atl..
    Robert G Hatch father
    Daryl D (Hatch) Beshirs
    Florida allows straping to the bed..
    It is forbade in Georgia..ummmm…
    I to bow out ,it no longer concerns him nor me ?
    How is the system broke ?
    Asking to find out if the person who checks a person into a hospital has total authority over someone..as a son be refused to ask about father heath on floor..
    How to protect my father ?
    How do I protect my assets?
    Yes I said ME..protect me..
    Is that selfishness,
    ?
    No one will Ask?
    I got to speak to legislation runner in the capital building …
    It has an air mein..
    A pink elephants in the room … worse then kudzoo..forest..to choke anything good out..a strangely hold…
    Oddly enough, under the rug…
    The places with jobs for people have 80% percent reduced crime rate..oddly the two match .
    I’m asking the nurse who stole my dad’s belonigs so my cousins would have them, or being gone after by the staff and blocked by them, being fired over the barrel..to stare down it..and keep my hands tyed..as this 29 days went on ..in TMH..
    MY dad had the start of senility…aka..
    The new words ..demention ,alztimers
    .oddly the words change ..the estate change..the law states the same..
    Their ball
    Their bats
    Their gloves…
    Hine site is 20/20..
    A few of my question of what is going on after the facts ..of getting my head served to me..are besides the point and getting robbed along with my father…
    Arogracnce, America’s arogracnce..will or should be mete..
    Here say..ahould I go on..cam some one start a pention for me…do I take it to the streets like in the 60s ?

Comments are closed.


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