DeSantis Enrages Democrats With New Medicaid Plan

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – In a televised interview, Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis credits the state’s reduced Medicaid spending on migration restrictions he has implemented.

DeSantis explained that Florida’s state government knew they wouldn’t receive federal government support, so resorted to doing “different things at the state level to… deter illegal immigration” to the Sunshine State.

He noted that laws requiring people to divulge immigration status when showing up at Florida’s hospitals “caused the Medicaid expenditures to plummet by 50 percent.”

Since May 2023, a Florida law has required the state’s hospitals to report on healthcare costs related to illegal immigrants. As of May 3rd, 2024, Florida has experienced a 50 percent reduction in such spending, having only spent $67 million on emergency healthcare for illegal immigrants, a far cry from the $147 million it spent on such care in the fiscal year 2022-2023.

Despite illegal immigrants not being eligible for Medicaid benefits under federal law, states are required to provide emergency medical care. The cost reduction highlights that illegal immigrants may not be seeking emergency care in Florida because they know state law would require them to become documented.

On July 1st, 2023, a Florida law banning giving illegal migrants a state driver’s license went into effect. Florida also made out-of-state driver’s licenses issued to illegal immigrants invalid in Florida. In March of this year, DeSantis also signed a law that would increase penalties for migrants who commit felonies after being deported and returning to the U.S.

DeSantis highlighted how all these changes had deterred migrants from trying to settle in Florida.

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