House Republicans held a rare, closed-door caucus before today’s session discussing Medicaid expansion and a pending health-care bill in the Senate.
Speaker Steve Crisafulli was heard through the door telling members to “trust us” in holding the line against the Senate’s Florida Health Insurance Exchange, a privatized form of Medicaid expansion.
Crisafulli also told his fellow Republicans that House leadership is in constant communication with the Senate and warned “we are going to get beat up by the press.”
He also said former Gov. Jeb Bush, an anticipated GOP presidential hopeful, was taken out of context when Bush said last week the Florida Legislature needs to compromise on expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Also heard discussed was the low income pool, or LIP – more than $2 billion expected to vanish if the program expires later this year.
Gov. Rick Scott and Crisafulli have said Medicaid expansion would not replace LIP money.
Recent compromises on Medicaid expansion in Texas and Tennessee was also overhead discussed.
Crisafulli told reporters after the half hour caucus that it did not violate Florida’s open meeting laws because there is no healthcare legislation in the House.
He said members were just giving background on the LIP program.
“It was simply a history lesson, he said.
House Budget Chairman Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’ Lakes, also mentioned the caucus as a history lesson.
He lashed out at the Senate and at questions about the caucus being closed.
“We don’t even get on their agenda,” he said. “There is only one chamber that is very open and transparent.
Here’s a photo of the press listening outside the closed meeting.
Original article here.