Activists urge the Florida Legislature to expand Medicaid coverage

  • Paula Witthaus holds a picture of her former companion who qualified for Medicaid treatment two weeks after he died in 2011

Next week, the Florida Legislature convenes for its 2013 session, and one of the issues members will vote on is whether to approve the deal with the federal government to expand Medicaid coverage.

Gov. Rick Scott made national headlines last week by announcing that he supports the plan, which would have the federal government pay 100 percent of all Medicaid spending in Florida for three years, and 90 percent after that. But Scott doesn't have the last word — the Legislature does. This afternoon in South St. Petersburg, a number of activists called on the Legislature to approve the deal.

Dr. Larry Floriani is an orthopedic surgeon based in Tarpon Springs and a member of Doctors for America. He began the news conference by rolling off a series of statistics about the current health care situation in Florida, and how much it would improve if the Legislature agrees to expand Medicaid.