House Appropriations Chairman state Rep. Richard Corcoran issued a fiery speech during budget debate where he invited the Florida Senate to “come to war” with the House and take on the “Gucci-loafing, shoe-wearing special interest powers” that are responsible for Florida’s broken healthcare system.
Corcoran delivered the speech as he closed debate on the House’s proposed spending plan for the 2015-16 fiscal year. He took the opportunity to take a one-two punch at the Senate for including in its proposed spending plan $2 billion in supplemental Medicaid dollars known as the Low Income Pool program and Medicaid expansion.
Corcoran said it was “absolute fantasy” that LIP would be eliminated. However, if that were to occur, he said, hospitals wouldn’t be impacted until October and, therefore, the LIP program should be taken out of budget and addressed later in the year.
“To cloud (LIP) in the middle of the budget, when we are not pressed for financial reasons to address this until October, and make decisions that are rash …..we will only come up with a solution that will not solve the problems we are all concerned about, and we are only going to come up with a solution that people will not get what they need and what they deserve.”
Corcoran, House speaker-designate for 2016-18, also took aim at the Florida Senate for pushing the House to take a vote on Medicaid expansion even though the Senate has not been willing to consider any of the positions the House has held out on healthcare access, he said.
Two years ago the House debated a proposed Medicaid expansion–then known as the Negron plan–for eight hours. Yet, Corcoran said, the Senate would not consider the House’s proposal for healthcare access.
And now the Senate again is pushing the House to take up Medicaid again by including it in the budget. But Corcoran said the House wasn’t going to “dance” with the Senate.
“They want us to come dance,” he said. “We are not dancing. We are not dancing this session, we are not dancing next session, we are not dancing next summer. We’re not dancing. And if you want to blow up the process because somehow you think you have the right that doesn’t exist, have at it. But we are going to do what’s right.”
Instead of “dancing with the Senate” Corcoran invited the Senate to wage war with the House and take on the Tallahassee special interests.
The enemy is the status quo and the status quo is all the people who profit from the system,” Corcoran said, calling out hospitals for “gouging” patients and lobbying against allowing ambulatory surgical centers to operate (HB 999).
“The great enemy is the power of the status quo. I will proudly declare war on the special interests. Every single one of which. All the Gucci-loafing, shoe-wearing, special interest powers that be. They are sitting in that hallway. Every single one of them want Medicaid expansion; none of them want the other stuff. Come to war with us. I’ll fight. And if it costs me my political career, or yours, so be it. That’s where the fight should be had. That’s who our enemy is. That’s why our people don’t have the health care they deserve.”
This is the second time in as many days Corcoran committed to taking on the “status quo.” He delivered a similar speech in the Appropriations Committee on Tuesday when the House passed a bill to transform the state group health plan.