Negron: Chasm between competing health care visions too wide to overcome

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Despite valiant efforts at compromise, stalling tactics with bills read in full, and several alternatives for expanded health care coverage on the table, the “chasm between the competing visions is too wide to overcome,” according to Senator Joe Negron on the eve of sine die.

Negron, whose proposal was the most comprehensive of those forwarded this legislative session, favored accepting federal dollars for expanded coverage — a plan also supported by Gov. Rick Scott; however House  leaders were steadfast in their intent to reject federal funding and instead subsidize low-income Floridians in the purchase of private insurance.

Speculation is high whether Gov. Scott will call a special session to taken on health care expansion — a move which would signal strong leadership on an issue of paramount importance to millions of Floridians.  It would also counter a jab by prospective gubernatorial contender Charlie Crist, who on Facebook scolded that had he been governor, a compromise on health care expansion would have been reached.

Provisions of federal health care reform require most people to have qualified health care coverage by 2014 or else face penalties, making the March 2014 legislative session too late for offering state solutions to low-income working families, and Floridian businesses.