Florida Medicaid expansion a moral, pragmatic issue

May 15, 2014 

Reader John Molloy criticized my recent letter favoring Medicaid expansion, discussing mainly its expense and advocating reform, not expansion.

To make his case, he had to ignore a lot of the facts -- for example, that it would NOT be expensive for states because the federal government will pay 100 percent for four years and 90 percent thereafter.

Our governor, in his wisdom, turned down $51 billion in federal dollars, which would have created jobs and helped the economy in addition to providing much needed health care.

Mr. Molloy apparently forgot how many Floridians have no medical insurance (hundreds of thousands) and how many die annually because of that (estimates are 2,000).

My letter discussed one of those who did die -- at age 32, a single mother leaving three children behind. She literally worked herself to death.

Florida is one of the states -- mostly southern and ruled by Republicans -- with the worst health care and the shortest life span in the nation.

Mr. Molloy may disregard moral arguments for expanding Medicaid. But morality should be regarded, and it is immoral to condemn Floridians to early death because we don't care.

Besides, if the richest country in the world can't take care of its most vulnerable people, our priorities are totally screwed up.

Myra Jones


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