Gov. Rick Scott aide defends Medicaid expansion opposition

2:41 PM, Aug 16, 2012   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) - An aide is defending Gov. Rick Scott's opposition to expanding Medicaid in Florida under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Spokesman Brian Burgess on Thursday said the state cannot afford the millions it would take to attract billions in federal funding that Florida would receive through the expansion.

Burgess also said the state has other programs to help low-income people who don't qualify for Medicaid.

He was reacting to preliminary figures reviewed this week by state economists. They show turning down expansion would cost Florida early $40 billion in federal money to save at most $2.5 billion in state funds over 10 years.

The expansion could eventually cover more than 1 million more Floridians, but the economists don't believe all those eligible will participate. They are revising the dollar estimates downward.

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