FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (AP) - The powerful Florida Medical Association now supports expanding Medicaid to roughly 1 million Floridians, a controversial political issue that has divided state lawmakers.
The organization passed a resolution saying it will publicly support Medicaid expansion and accept nearly $50 billion in federal funds over 10 years, but only if expansion safeguards access to patient care and increases Medicaid reimbursement rates to doctors.
The organization said in a statement that increased access to care will only come "if there are adequate numbers of physicians to care for these patients," noting current reimbursement rates are "grossly inadequate and serve as a disincentive to physician participation."
Gov. Rick Scott said he supported Medicaid expansion in a surprise move two years ago, but hasn't made it a priority and House Republicans blocked legislation. The issue has fizzled despite Democrats' efforts.