House Republican Budget Declares War on Florida's Working People and FamiliesThursday April 05, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) criticized the House Republicans for their proposed budget cuts to education, Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps).
“The House Republicans declared war on Florida’s working people and families with their budget proposal,” said Rep. Wilson. “By making massive cuts to education, Medicaid and SNAP, the House Republicans are once again proving that they only care about ‘the pursuit of happiness’ if you can easily afford it – and not about making the American Dream possible for everyone.”
Under the House Republicans’ budget cuts to education, Florida’s college students will lose an average of $820 from their Pell Grants, 3,860 work-study opportunities in Florida will be eliminated, $259.7 million will be cut from ESEA and Special Ed funding and 12,400 children would lose access to Head Start.
Under the House Republicans’ budget cuts to Florida’s Medicaid program by $15.1 billion, as many as 2,087,000 Florida residents would lose access to Medicaid, including more than 893,300 seniors and disabled people who currently rely on Medicaid for their health care needs. Additionally, cuts to Medicaid could have a devastating impact on 72,220 seniors in 683 certified nursing homes in Florida.
Additionally, the House Republican Budget would dump up to $118.3 billion in health care costs onto Florida’s state budget over the next 10 years, when the Sunshine State is already facing a $3.7 billion budget shortfall in Fiscal Year 2012.
Moreover, Florida would receive far less federal investment than other states under the House Republicans’ block grant plan. Florida Medicaid expenditure levels are relatively low ($4,573 per enrollee) compared to the U.S. average ($5,337 per enrollee). Because the block grant funding levels are based on current state Medicaid spending, Florida would receive less block grant funding than other states.
Finally, the House Republicans would slash Florida’s SNAP funding by $8.71 billion over 10 years, putting 3,239,000 Floridians at risk.
Rep. Frederica S. Wilson is a first-term Congresswoman representing the 17th District of Florida, including Northern Miami-Dade and Southeast Broward Counties. A former state legislator and school principal, she is the founder of the 5000 Role Models for Excellence Project, a mentoring program for young males at risk of dropping out of school.