ACTION ITEM: Florida Special Session 6/1/2015 Contact Needed.

Special session 6/1

Credit: Lane Watkins

The Florida Legislature begins a special session on Monday, June 1 to finish enacting the state budget. Already, the FL Senate is trying to use it to force Medicaid Expansion and some groups are trying to use it to force greatly increased land acquisition under Amendment 1, Water and Land Conservation.

Please ask everyone you know to call and write your State Senator, Representative and the Governor and tell them No on Medicaid Expansion and No on buying more land for conservation.

Contact information can be found in the links below:

Here are sample emails that Lane Watkins wrote and sent to his elected officials. Share and use as you wish.

No on Medicaid Expansion:

 Senate President Gardiner, Governor Scott,
House Speaker Crisafulli,  Additionally add your Senator and Representative

     We all are looking for ways to provide medical care for the poor. Relying on federal dollars is the wrong way to help Florida's poor. Expanding Medicaid or some similar scheme is the wrong way to help Florida's poor.
The federal government is taking over Florida's health care. Don't believe me? They have our Governor, Senate and House battling each other because the feds are using Low Income Pool funding as a hostage to get their way on Medicaid expansion. You are being bullied, all the while knowing that a court case may hurt the federal implementation of the Affordable Care Act over the question of state exchanges. That raises the stakes for the feds to control our health care. We, the citizens of Florida oppose federal control over our health care.
During the Special Session of the Legislature, please consider ways to provide quality medical care for all Florida's Citizens. It is about Florida keeping control over Florida's medical care. Oppose Medicaid Expansion. Do not allow it.

No more Conservation Land buying:

 Senate President Gardiner, Governor Scott,
House Speaker Crisafulli,  Additionally add your Senator and Representative

As you deliberate on the State Budget during the Special Session, we urge you to reject any efforts designed to increase spending on purchasing conservation land. Amendment 1 Water and Land Conservation funding should be used to restore and maintain currently owned conservation land and not to purchase more land. The state currently has difficulty maintaining and protecting the conservation land it already owns. Nearly 1/3 of Florida is already in conservation, and the Florida Legislature needs to take care of what the state currently owns. Before any additional properties are purchased for conservation purposes, existing waterways, estuaries, rivers and other water bodies presently endangered should be restored. Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.

Good Luck!

Lane Watkins

Link to all Florida house members:  http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/

Link to all Florida Senate members: http://www.flsenate.gov/

Governor Scott:  rick.scott@eog.myflorida.com

The following information was provided by Rep. Debbie Mayfield and explains why she does not support the Medicaid Expansion.

"This session, Medicaid expansion proved to be one of the most contentious and critical issues that the Legislature had to address. I agree with the Speaker’s belief that expanding Medicaid is not in the best interest of our state.  Medicaid currently costs $23.5 billion per year, or about one-third of Florida’s budget. I believe we must take a principle stand against growing a massive government entitlement program.

Joined by many of my colleagues, my opposition to Medicaid expansion is rooted in the belief that it is a broken system with poor health outcomes, high inflation, and unseverable federal strings. Florida already provides for some of our most vulnerable citizens: low-income children, low-income pregnant women, low-income elderly, and low-income disabled people.

Under federal law, some low-income Floridians have access to healthcare subsidies to buy private insurance for less than the average cost of a wireless phone bill. If the Legislature chooses to expand Medicaid, nearly 600,000 low-income Floridians could lose eligibility for their private insurance subsidies. Medicaid would be the only coverage option for an estimated 257,000 of the aforementioned 600,000 low-income Floridians.

In my opinion, the federal government is trying to force the state into expanding Medicaid by tying it to continued funding of the Low Income Pool program. I believe that by tethering the two programs together, the federal government is utilizing the power of the purse to achieve a specific policy outcome that the Supreme Court has already rule they cannot mandate on states.

In my view, there are better ways to achieve quality health coverage for Floridians, rather than pushing them into what I believe is a broken Medicaid system. In the weeks ahead, I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on this important issue."

Thank you for your attention to this matter

God Bless You and May God Bless Our America.

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