Florida ranks worse than all other states except Texas for the percentage of adults under 65 with health insurance, according to an analysis by the personal-finance website Wallethub.
It’s not much better (47th) for the percentage of children covered, the study figures. Florida fares better in other respects, such as 23rd in doctors per capita.
Advocacy groups for low-income patients point squarely to the state’s refusal to expand Medicaid as a major reason why, while opponents of the Obama administration say rankings like this undercut claims the Affordable Care Act is working in Florida.
“Florida has been asinine in its attempt to block health care and quality of life to its own citizens,” said Mark Pafford, the state House Democratic Leader of West Palm Beach who was named last fall as chief executive officer of Florida CHAIN, the statewide health advocacy organization.
He said state leaders turned a “a blind eye to the many economic advantages that (Medicaid) expansion creates in Florida” just to thwart the Obama administration politically.
Florida GOP leaders warned of the costs to U.S. and eventually Florida taxpayers for expanding Medicaid.
Meanwhile, administration foes cited the same study in efforts against candidates such as Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Patrick Murphy.
“The WalletHub study comes on the heels of a new digital ad released today by Americans for Prosperity-Florida showing how Patrick Murphy’s ‘Pay-More Agenda’ will continue to drive up the cost of health care,” an AFP release this week says.
Update: This National Review post points to a hazard of expanding Medicaid — an “improper payment” rate of 12 percent or almost $140 billion nationally.