State Rep. Richard Corcoran, the House budget chief who earlier this year urged House members to go to “war” over health care, made it clear on Monday: No means no when it comes to Medicaid expansion.
Corcoran, who took to Twitter over the weekend to vent his frustration over the current healthcare impasse that has bogged down this year’s session, launched into a spirited defense against the idea of extending healthcare coverage to 800,000 Floridians. The Senate is pushing the idea and the divide with the House over the issue has resulted in a budget stalemate that means the Legislature will not wrap up its work for the year this Friday.
Corcoran maintains that if Florida passes expansion, then more than 600,000 people now eligible for federal subsidies to purchase private health insurance will lose their access to the subsidies.
“Who’s better to determine what they should do with their healthcare outcomes?” Corcoran said. “We think Floridians should have that power, not-for-profit HMOs.”
He said it was wrong to force those people off the exchanges, while offering coverage to people that he termed as able-bodied adults.
“That is not a good deal, that is not a fix,’’ said Corcoran, taking a subtle swipe at the Senate plan that goes by the acronym FHIX and has been called the “Fix” plan.
Corcoran insisted that House Republicans will not give up their opposition to expansion.
“We’re not doing Medicaid expansion,’’ Corcoran told a group of reporters that gathered around his desk on the House floor.
Corcoran was even more forceful on social media about the issue. Some of his tweets included: “Every big lobbyist and every big money special interest group wants Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. hmmm must be a good deal??” Another one read: “We will stand and fight with the working poor against the special interests and big corporate hospitals every day of the week!”
Corcoran, who two years ago authored an alternative to Medicaid expansion that did not get considered by the Senate, has been the most vocal opponent this year to expansion, which is viewed as being linked to Obamacare.