HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - Congressional lawmakers from both parties reacted Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama's sweeping and controversial health care legislation.
The ruling affects the way millions of people receive care, and in Florida, it will have a big effect on Medicaid.
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As it stands, among the 19 million people in Florida, 3.1 million are considered poor and are on Medicaid, while 4 million are uninsured. But, under the new law upheld Thursday, Medicaid would be expanded, meaning another 1.1 million people would qualify for it.
According to a nonpartisan health advocacy group, the federal government would spend $20 billion over the next 10 years for it. Florida would pay $2 billion over 10 years.
State Rep. Elaine Schwartz, D-Hollywood, said it is a good thing.
"Truthfully, all arguments about the law seem so wrong because it's good for the economy," Schwartz said. "My goodness, it will boost jobs in health care, and the insurance companies will have people who they're insuring and getting premiums from who weren't there before."
That is a sticking point for Republican lawmakers, though. In fact, Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who wants Florida to opt out of Medicaid expansion and has already rejected federal money, had this to say Thursday:
"With the national economy struggling to recover, now is not the time to implement a massive social program that injects nothing but uncertainly and doubt into our economic system," Scott said.
"The American people will have their say in November, and I am confident they will join me in rejecting a law so harmful to individual liberty, to our economy, and to the welfare of our people," said Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Click here to read reactions by other South Florida lawmakers.
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