In the morning speech explaining his resistance to expanding health coverage for the poor, Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, told the House and Senate, meeting in a joint session on the Legislature’s opening day, about his family’s circumstances when he was 15 and his brother, Peter, age 2, died of cancer after surgeries and a year’s worth of treatment had drained the family’s savings.Weatherford initially said he didn't know precisely who paid for the care, but later in the day a staffer soon told The Palm Beach Post that the cost had been written off by medical professionals as charity care. That story supported the premise of Weatherford's argument: Instead of expanding money pits like Medicaid, Florida should fight for the safety net that helped his family when it was in need.
His father, who was self-employed, and his mother, who home-schooled the family’s nine children, faced a “mountain of medical bills,” Weatherford, 33, said. The family was uninsured.
“It was the safety net that picked my family up,” Weatherford said. “I will continue to believe in – and fight for – a strong safety net for Florida.”
Hours after his speech, when asked to expand on his story, Weatherford told reporters that his family didn’t receive Medicaid.
As you'll see below the fold, the only problem with the story is that it wasn't true.
Despite his initial denials and claims of having received charity care, it turns out that Weatherford's family did in fact receive support from Medicaid:
Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford reversed course on Wednesday and said that health care provided for his brother was covered under Florida's Medically Needy program, which is financed by Medicaid.When Will Weatherford said he would stand up and fight for the safety net that helped his family, but not for Medicaid, it was an emotional triumph. But it was also complete bullshit, because Medicaid is the safety net that helped his family, and Will Weatherford isn't fighting for Medicaid—he's fighting against it.