News Section: State Government
LWV and Area Businesses Call on State to Take Federal Medicaid Funding
BRADENTON – Joined by an array of area business leaders, the League of Women Voters of Florida renewed their call for the state to accept the federal money for Medicaid expansion Tuesday, emphasizing the unprecedented economic benefits that expansion would provide to the state.
The group was joined for the announcement at a press conference in Tampa by the Presidents/CEO's of Tampa General Hospital and the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, and representatives from the business and education communities, including CompassCare and the University of South Florida.
Together, they highlighted the $51 billion in federal money that Medicaid expansion would bring into the state over the next 10 years, an estimated 120,000 new jobs that would be created, and a host of other economic benefits that the expansion of Medicaid would bring.
"The business case for expansion is clear - this makes good business sense for our hospitals by reducing the amount of emergency care they would need to provide for the uninsured and it would also help stabilize business health insurance premiums by reducing the need to pass along those costs," said Bob Rohrlack, President and CEO of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.
Erin Carr, founder and owner of CompassCare, added, "I think I speak for many small businesses when I say that the non-expansion of Florida's insurance coverage equates to the non-expansion of my company."
"We need to find a way to expand the system of healthcare coverage in Florida," said Jim Burkhart, President and CEO of Tampa General Hospital. "We are willing to work with state legislators to develop a system for the Floridians who have no healthcare coverage today."
"There are no perfect solutions to the healthcare crisis in the United States," said Dr. John Petrila, Chair of USF's Department of Health Policy & Management. "However, Medicaid expansion is one of those rare initiatives that benefits everybody. It improves the public's health, reduces the number of people without insurance, and helps stabilize the health sector, one of Tampa Bay's most important employers."
Echoing that sentiment, President of the League of Women Voters of Florida Deirdre Macnab, called on the state legislature to "take the money!" "We urge Speaker Weatherford to start the ball rolling now so that the state can accept the $51 billion in federal funding essential to covering nearly a million more hardworking Floridians," said Macnab.