Where Florida’s money is spent & about expanding Medicaid
Bottom Line: Here we go again. Another state session and another hard push for Medicaid expansion in Florida. Despite a record low unemployment rate in Florida, record high wages and record opportunity in Florida (as measured by current job openings), the tired playbook of attempting to create a crisis has emerged in the name of massive government expansion and the certainty of much higher future taxes in Florida. It’s like this. State Senator Annette Taddeo is pushing a massive expansion of Medicaid in our state – in the name of helping those who can’t afford healthcare. Never mind the fact that no one is ever denied healthcare who needs it in this country or that it’s reach is already massive in our state. Predictably, news media statewide are actively engaged in every effort to promote the agenda by talking up poverty and those who lack healthcare and winning bonus points if they can find a person with a story they can use to convey the sheer cruelty of the state of Florida under our draconian ways. The one thing that’s lacking of course... Facts and reality. Starting with these nuggets...
13% more people are on Medicaid in our state right now than are on unemployment. The median household income is currently $52,500. Let that sink in for a minute... If you’re not entirely familiar with the debate, it’s been one years in the making going back to the passing of the Affordable Care Act a decade ago. The reason why Florida didn’t accept the Medicaid expansion originally and hasn’t since is straight forward. It’s already Florida’s number #1 expense and after three years the entire financial burden for the expansion falls to the state. Surprised about the #1 expense thing?
Here’s a look at where Florida’s money goes:
- 32% Medicaid
- 26% Education
- 12% Transportation
- 4% Corrections
- 26% Everything else
Huge right? One out of every three dollars from the state already goes to provide healthcare for the poor. That’s because 16% of Florida’s population is on Medicaid. So, every 1% of Florida population that’s on Medicaid consumes 2% of the state’s funds. What would Medicaid expansion mean? The current estimate is that an additional 525,000+ Floridians would end up on it which is about 3% of the population. That would require 6% of the additional revenue of the state to provide it.
That’s where the conversation should begin. First, should 1 in 5 Floridians really be on Medicaid paid for by the other 80% that also have to pay for their own healthcare? Second, where do you want that 6% to come from? It’s larger than the entire corrections budget. Half of the transportation budget. Would the education establishment – which is literally the only one large enough to take that kind of hit be accepting of it? Before anyone advocates for this, you’d better have answers to that question. Without dramatic cuts to education in Florida there’s no way to pay for it without dramatically raising taxes. The reason Florida’s as successful as it is currently - we’ve made smart and fair decisions unlike so many states that people are fleeing when they come here.