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Gwen Graham takes firm stance on Medicaid expansion

The Democratic gubernatorial candidate threatened to veto Republican legislative priorities if lawmakers failed to expand the health care program.
Former congresswoman Gwen Graham, a Democratic candidate for governor, addresses the media in Tallahassee on Thursday. [ADAM C. SMITH | Times]
Former congresswoman Gwen Graham, a Democratic candidate for governor, addresses the media in Tallahassee on Thursday. [ADAM C. SMITH | Times]
Published Nov. 20, 2017

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham drew a line in the sand on Medicaid expansion Monday.

The Democratic candidate for governor said she would veto Republican legislative priorities if lawmakers refused to work with her to expand the health care program, which provides health insurance to low-income Americans, in Florida through the Affordable Care Act.

"I've lived in Tallahassee most of my life, and I don't mind the summer heat," Graham said in a release. "It won't bother me one bit if the Legislature is forced to stay here all summer to ensure Floridians have access to affordable health care."

Florida opted not to expand Medicaid after the Supreme Court found in 2012 that the federal government could not force states to do so.

The Kaiser Family Foundation recently found that 702,000 Floridians would be newly eligible for Medicaid if the state opted to expand the program.

Graham had previously called for a public option in Florida, which some liberal health care advocates say would help control medical costs by setting a baseline for price competition. Conservative detractors say an expansion of federal health care programs is too costly in the long term to be worth it.

Read Graham's whole release here.

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