State Legislators Reaffirm Obamacare, Medicaid Positions At JU Forum

Nov 14, 2013

The leaders of of both houses of the Florida State Legislature joined with leading medical and insurance providers to discuss health policy at Jacksonville University’s 2013 Healthcare Policy Conference.

Among the speakers Wednesday was State Senate President Don Gaetz who reiterated his opposition to the Affordable Care Act and the push to expand Medicaid.

(L-R) Ford Koles, Executive Director, The Advisory Board Company, Washington, DC; Patrick Geraghty, Chairman/CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida; Will Weatherford, Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives; and Don Gaetz, President, Florida Senate, speak at Terry Concert Hall on the campus of Jacksonville University.
Credit Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

One major bone of contention is what Gaetz describes as the federal government’s unwillingness to accept Florida’s health coverage proposals.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to convince the Secretary of HHS in Washington to adopt a Florida plan.  So until the federal government backs away from its all or nothing, my way or the highway attitude, I’m afraid people in Florida will be disadvantaged,” he said.
Also in attendance at the conference was State Representative Mia Jones, who said Floridians will continue to have a disadvantage as long as state lawmakers refuse to budge on healthcare issues.

“Even with Florida Blue saying that a workable solution exists, that the House and the Senate still were not willing to go at it a different way.  Their position is, let them tell us they’ll make these concessions and then we’ll come to the table," she said.

The Healthcare Policy Conference was sponsored by Jacksonville University’s Public Policy Institute.

You can follow Cyd Hoskinson on Twitter at @cydwjctnews.