New push for Medicaid expansion in Florida - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

New push for Medicaid expansion in Florida

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

A renewed campaign to get the state of Florida to accept billions in federal money to expand Medicaid is underway.

At a rally on Tuesday organized by the League of Women Voters, local business leaders joined the effort to convince lawmakers to reconsider taking the funds they passed on earlier this year. 

Supporters said making more people eligible for coverage could create jobs, improve local health care and make the state more attractive for companies to locate.

"Take the money," supporters holding signs at the Harbour Island rally urged.

The expansion of Medicaid was proposed as part of the Affordable Care Act, with an offer by the federal government to pick up the tab for the cost for the first three years, then pay a smaller portion of the cost for a total of $51 billion over 10 years.

(More Affordable Care Act info here)

"Whether you like the current health care expansion and health care changes that are occurring, it is the law of the land," said Tampa General Hospital CEO Jim Burkhart.

Burkhart said the solution doesn't necessarily have to be an expansion of Medicaid.

"We're willing to listen to any proposal that brings the $51 billion to the state of Florida," he said.

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