Acting like a whiny baby, Republican Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli abruptly ended the legislative session in the House early to avoid any chance of expanding Medicaid. Under mounting public pressure to expand Medicaid, Florida Senate leaders rightfully insisted on passing Medicaid expansion.
Crisafulli instead chose to act like a spoiled brat and end the session in the House three days early, killing hundreds of important bills, saying “the House is not interested in expanding Medicaid.”
A reporter asked Crisafulli how he would deal with the potential perception he was acting “petulant,” that “you can’t get what you want so you just decided to take your ball and go home?”
Senate Democratic Leader Arthenia Joyner even called out House Republicans for “acting like children.”
Watch Crisafulli end the legislative session and respond to the press below:
Florida Republicans’ refusal to expand Medicaid means the Sunshine State will miss out on billions of dollars in federal funding, and all of the economic activity such a large infusion of cash would entail.
More tragically, it means more than 800,000 poor Floridians will go without health insurance. For example, Cynthia Lewis worked hard all her life, but when she became chronically ill and couldn’t work anymore she couldn’t get help from the government to buy health insurance because she has no income.
Lewis told WLRN reporter Wilson Sayre, “So you mean to tell me, I done worked all my life, and I can’t get no Obamacare, no kind of insurance? Something wrong with that picture.”
House Democrats slammed Crisafulli and his Republican colleagues for shirking their duties.
Representative Janet Cruz tweeted after the House adjourned, “After the chaos that House Republicans stirred this Session, today’s developments should be no surprise. Instead of working together for the people of Florida, they threw a tantrum. This is the Florida House not grade school. So disappointed.”
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.