Obama Care Makes Economic Sense in Florida
The federal government will pay the full cost of Medicaid expansion to Florida for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016. The portion paid by the federal government will eventually decrease to 90 percent by 2020 and stay there, under the law. But it is my understanding that Florida, still chooses to opt out of the federal Medicaid expansion program, to save money and this does not make economic sense or show any compassion for the citizens of Florida who cannot afford healthcare and are uninsured.
If the state of Florida opts out of the Medicaid expansion program, we will lose out on about $12 billion in new federal funding over the next 10 years, for an estimated savings according to Gov. Scott of $1.9 billion. This law would allow for the state to enroll 1.6 million more on people into Medicaid rolls. 1.6 million who have no health insurance today in the state of Florida would have health insurance in October 2013.
This would create jobs in the medical field and Florida has a shortage of doctors already and many of our physicians are aging out. By adopting Medicaid expansion, instead of doctors that we are already experiencing a shortages in leaving to states that will have the money for their services the opposite effect will happen , more doctors especially young ones and young hospital professionals would gravitate towards Florida, from states that is opting out like Texas and other republican states in the nation. Because what Florida fails to recognize in their opting out of Medicaid expansion, is that people go to college all those years for a financial payoff in the form of jobs and careers. And they have student loans to payoff. Obama Care is a $14 billion stimulus package to the Florida’s economy. And young doctors have to start somewhere to gain experience and Medicaid expansion offers them an opportunity to get started in their medical careers and gives 1.6 million more people medical assistance in the process. A win-win plan for Florida.
Florida’s unemployment rate is higher than the national average and in HighlandsCounty where I live which is an agricultural rural area it is over 8%. Obama Care would mean immediate jobs in the healthcare industry and we do have a lot of retirees and nursing homes here as well and this could mean better care for many of our citizens. Sure Medicaid pays less then Medicare, but it beats a blank check. It beats treating the uninsured. And in this tough economy for many health care professionals, it beats unemployment. This is the reality of the matter. It my not create the best jobs in the medical field, but it damn sure beats working at McDonald’s, which is about all that is being offered to many people in place like Highlands County, Florida.
It would be an attraction to major big corporate employers to the state of Florida. One of our major pitfalls, is the lack of insured Floridians who are unemployed. If you was a car company, computer manufacturer, retail store or any factory or plant or business in general, would you prefer to hire someone who has health insurance already or someone off of the streets uninsured for many years. Do the math? It will cost more to insure the uninsured than the person who is insured prior to employment. Just like it cost more to insure a person over 45 years old than it cost to insure someone in their 20’s. For this reason is so hard for middle age America to gain employment. But the Medicaid expansion program will attract potential employers to Florida, because it would reduce the risks associated with company benefits such as health insurance and life insurance. It will create a healthier potential workforce in the state of Florida and would see immediate results.
More jobs means more tax revenue, more healthcare professional in Florida means a better real estate market. While Florida claims a savings of $1.9 billion, how much of the $12 billion gained will become tax revenues? Not to mention again a stronger and healthier workforce that might be able to better compete for big corporate employers. The bottom line and common sense tells us that more healthcare means a healthier economy in the state of Florida.
The only solution is a voters registrations drive to get these oppressive legislators out of office. We need to renew our voting block and if the black community can join alliance, with the gay and lesbian community for marriage equity, if we can join alliance with Mexicans for immigration reform we can join alliance, to strengthen our voting block, we can forge an alliance with our own pot smoking youth to strengthen our voting blocks, hanging pants and all. This is about life or death and to judge them is to condemn ourselves.
Frank Paul Jones
President and Chairman of the NCNCHINC