Friends,

A recent Forbes article, “Florida Senate Republicans Vote to Expand Obamacare and Medicaid, Rejecting House’s Free-Market Alternative,” outlines the differences among Florida’s policymakers this final week of the 2013 legislative session. The key issue: whether to accept federal dollars to provide health care for Florida’s uninsured. The article highlights the Florida House’s plan that advocates for free-market health care legislation to aid working parents to purchase private health insurance from the Florida Health Choices marketplace. In related news, Rasmussen Reports just released a national telephone survey which found that 59% of likely U.S. voters think free market competition would do more to reduce health care costs than more government regulation.

The James Madison Institute (JMI) has been hard at work researching the Affordable Care Act and working to educate Floridians on the consequences of the creation of a state-based exchange and a costly expansion of Medicaid. Early on in the weeks leading up to session we released two policy briefs: “Options for Florida Going Forward under the PPACA” and “Florida’s Best Medicaid Option under the PPACA: Expand the Reforms, Not the Rolls.” The fact is that nothing is “free” – the federal dollars being discussed don’t cover the administrative costs of expanding the program. More important, Medicaid has a justified reputation for providing inadequate health care, thereby hurting those whom it was intended to help. As one of our policy briefs pointed out, research in California showed that the uninsured receive better care than Medicaid patients do.

After publicizing our work, meeting with lawmakers and ensuring that our policy recommendations were heard loud and clear, we brought in Michael Cannon, the Cato Institute’s director of health policy studies to testify in front of the Senate Select Committee on the PPACA, as well as the entire House Republican Caucus. His visit is discussed in the latest JMI Messenger (pictured).

JMI also worked to highlight our poll of 600 registered Florida voters regarding their opinions on taking federal dollars to provide coverage to those who qualify for Medicaid under the PPACA provisions. Of those Floridians surveyed:, 63 percent were concerned that the federal government will eventually change the program, reduce the amount it reimburses to Florida, and add additional expenses to Florida taxpayers. Nearly 60 percent of respondents think the Governor and the Legislature should not opt to expand Medicaid, keeping taxes and spending on current trajectories. See the complete poll results here, and keep up with the latest mentions of JMI in the news, as well as the coverage of the poll here.

This fight hasn’t been easy. Confusion, misinformation, even scare tactics have been used in an effort to convince our state leaders that taking money from the federal government to make an already huge, inefficient program larger is a good idea. We hope that our work will help you learn more about Florida’s other options, and the political landscape encompassing this critical moment in time. The legislative session may be coming to an end, but the battle isn’t over.

Feel free to reply to this email with your questions, concerns, and comments. As always, we value the feedback from our members as we work to advance our mission and serve you better.

All the Best,

The James Madison Institute Policy Staff

The James Madison Institute | Trusted Solutions for a Better Florida

Economic Freedom – Limited Government – Personal Responsibility

Established in 1987, The James Madison Institute (JMI) is a Florida-based independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit public policy research and education organization. JMI has thousands of members across Florida and America who believe in limited government, personal responsibility and economic freedom. Contributions to JMI are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Contact JMI through mail: 100 North Duval Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301; email: jmi@jamesmadison.org; or phone: (850) 386-3131.

The James Madison Institute
The Columns
100 North Duval Street

Tallahassee, FL 32301

p. 850.386.3131

e. jmi@jamesmadison.org