Medicaid Official Acknowledges Opposition To Cut

May 9, 2018

A top Florida Medicaid official has notified the federal government that Gov. Rick Scott’s administration provided incorrect information about a proposed cut to the Medicaid program.

Beth Kidder, deputy secretary for Medicaid at the state Agency for Health Care Administration, said in a letter Monday that some legislators voiced objections to the proposed $98 million cut, which was contrary to information the state had previously submitted to the federal government.

Florida is asking for the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to approve a change to eligibility rules used for the state’s main safety-net health program, resulting in the proposed cut.

Kidder wrote the letter after incoming Senate Minority Leader Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, slammed the Scott administration for failing to note that Senate Democrats raised questions about the proposed cut during debate over this year’s state budget.

“We apologize for the oversight,” Kidder said in the letter, which added that she planned to apologize to the Jacksonville senator.

Gibson on Monday said that despite the “alternative facts” presented by the Agency for Health Care Administration, Senate Democrats opposed the plan to change Medicaid eligibility rules.

“Attempting to sell this as a bipartisan blessing on bad policy is an untruth,” she said.