Republican opposition to Obamacare runs so deep that it has created an alternative health plan called Florida Health Choices. The brainchild of Senator Marco Rubio has so far attracted only 30 enrollees. Nearly one million Florida residents have signed up for Obamacare.
The plan was intended to attract the nearly 765,000 Floridians who were blocked from health coverage by a lack of Medicaid expansion. Florida Health Choices offers only dental and vision plans, unlike the comprehensive approach of Obamacare, which includes tests, treatments and hospitalization.
The plan offered by the GOP does not make up for the advantages of Medicaid, including over $50 million of funding from the federal government. Since the Affordable Care Act went into effect, nearly 30 million Americans have obtained health coverage through Medicaid or the insurance exchanges. Most enrollees are saving money, and Obamacare itself is expected to reduce the deficit by several billion dollars.
More money could be saved and more people could obtain coverage if Republicans allowed full expansion of Medicaid in red states. The GOP plan in Florida seemed to target those who are desperate and unable to afford private insurance. The lack of options in Florida Health Choices set the plan up for failure.