As lawmakers prepared to pass the near $79 billion budget that will guide state spending for the next year, U.S. Senate hopeful Patrick Murphy joined a group of Democratic lawmakers outside the Old Capitol on Friday chastising the Florida Legislature for not passing a bill to take advantage of federal Medicaid dollars.
U.S. Rep. Murphy not only criticized the state for not tapping into the federal dollars, he said Florida should have been working on a plan that would safeguard the residents who receive tax subsidies through the federal healthcare exchange to purchase so-called Obamacare plans. The Supreme Court of the United States is expected to rule soon on the tax subsidies in the King v Burwell case.
Joining Murphy was Senate Democratic Whip Joseph Arbuzzo, state Sen. Eleanor Sobel, House Minority Leader Mark Pafford, state Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez, and state Rep. Edward Narain, among others.
“We’ve got to do a better job of looking forward,” Murphy told the small crowd. He said that if the Supreme Court rules that tax subsidies cannot be provided through a federal exchange that 622,000 Floridians in South Florida will lose access to subsidies. “That’s the largest region in the country, the whole country, that will be affected.
“We simply can’t turn our backs on these folks now. It is unacceptable this partisanship and lack of action has gone on.”