Medicaid

The Trump administration says many of the organizations that help people enroll in health plans on the federal insurance marketplaces don't provide enough bang for the buck, sometimes costing thousands of dollars to sign up each customer. So it is cutting their funding, some by as much as 90 percent, the government told the groups last week.

Uninsured Rate Falls To Record Low Of 8.8%

Sep 13, 2017
Cheap Health Insurance / Flickr

Three years after the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion took effect, the number of Americans without health insurance fell to 28.1 million in 2016, down from 29 million in 2015, according to a federal report released Tuesday.

A popular federal-state program that provides health coverage to millions of children in lower- and middle-class families is up for renewal Sept. 30.

An intriguing new theory is gaining traction among conservative foes of the Obama-era health law: Its Medicaid expansion to low-income adults may be fueling the opioid epidemic.

Imagine being stranded without a ride to the doctor or arriving hours late to medical appointments that your life literally depends on. Those are Florida patients’ most common grievances with a company the state pays to arrange medical transportation for people with disabilities.  


Skyrocketing price tags for new drugs to treat rare diseases have stoked outrage nationwide. But hundreds of old, commonly used drugs cost the Medicaid program billions of extra dollars in 2016 vs. 2015, a Kaiser Health News data analysis shows. Eighty of the drugs — some generic and some still carrying brand names — proved more than two decades old.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will introduce a bill next month to create a government-run, single-payer health care system. And he knows it's going to fail.

"Look, I have no illusions that under a Republican Senate and a very right-wing House and an extremely right-wing president of the United States, that suddenly we're going to see a Medicare-for-all, single-payer passed," he said recently, sitting in his Senate office. "You're not going to see it. That's obvious."

Disabled Kids Medical Case Goes To Appeals Court

Aug 10, 2017

A legal battle will continue about whether Florida's Medicaid program has provided proper services to children with severe medical conditions.

Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

After the Senate fell short in its effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration is poised to use its regulatory powers to accomplish what lawmakers could not: shrink Medicaid.

Agency For Health Care Administration

A Florida health care administrator accepted bribes in exchange for helping a nursing home owner accused of orchestrating a $1 billion Medicare and Medicaid fraud scheme keep his license, federal prosecutors said.

Agency for Health Care Administration webinar screenshot.

Earlier this year, the Florida Legislature amended state statutes to phase out waiver programs that allow people with special needs to get Medicaid who wouldn't normally qualify for services.

Scott Raises Concern About Inequity In Medicaid

Jul 17, 2017
Associated Press

A day after U.S. Senate leaders released a proposal to replace the federal Affordable Care Act, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday raised concerns about whether Florida would be treated fairly in Medicaid funding.

Health Bill Still Lacks Support, But GOP Vows Vote Next Week

Jul 14, 2017
WMFE

Senate Republican leaders Thursday released their revised bill to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, but they acknowledged that furious days of negotiation have not yet secured the 50 votes necessary to pass the measure over unanimous Democratic objections.

Double-Booked: When Surgeons Operate On Two Patients At Once

Jul 12, 2017
The University of Arkansas

The controversial practice has been standard in many teaching hospitals for decades, its safety and ethics largely unquestioned and its existence unknown to those most affected: people undergoing surgery.

But over the past two years, the issue of overlapping surgery — in which a doctor operates on two patients in different rooms during the same time period — has ignited an impassioned debate in the medical community, attracted scrutiny by the powerful Senate Finance Committee that oversees Medicare and Medicaid, and prompted some hospitals, including the University of Virginia’s, to circumscribe the practice.

Crippling Medicaid Cuts Could Upend Rural Health Services

Jul 11, 2017

Each day as Ginger Peebles watches daughter Brenlee grow, she sees the importance of having a hospital close by that delivers babies.

It was about a year ago that Ornella Mouketou walked into the emergency room at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., and told them she wanted to end her life.

She was in her early 20s, unemployed and depressed.

"I was just walking around endlessly. I was walking around parks, and I was just crying all the time," she says. "It was like an empty black hole."

This week, as senators have decamped from Washington for the Fourth of July recess, the future of the Senate's Affordable Care Act replacement plan — and by extension, Medicaid — remains uncertain.

No corner of the health care system would be harder hit than Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the poor, if Republican leaders in Congress round up the votes to repeal major portions of the Affordable Care Act.

GOP lawmakers have proposed winding down the Medicaid expansion that added 17 million people in 31 states and the District of Columbia under the ACA, and also eventually capping the program's spending per capita.

Thousands of Floridians living with AIDS could be losing financial assistance they say is essential to living a normal life, and some AIDS groups are worried the state won't carry through on its promises.

Air Force veteran Billy Ramos, from Simi Valley, Calif., is 53 and gets health insurance for himself and for his family from Medicaid — the government insurance program for low-income people. He says he counts on the coverage, especially because of his physically demanding work as a self-employed contractor in the heating and air conditioning business.

The Senate vote on the health care bill has been pushed back, but it still has a lot of people in the nursing home industry worried. About two-thirds of nursing home residents are paid for by Medicaid. And the Congressional Budget Office found that the Senate health care bill would cut Medicaid by more than $770 billion over the next decade.

Medicaid is the government health care program for the poor.

That's the shorthand explanation. But Medicaid is so much more than that — which is why it has become the focal point of the battle in Washington to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

Changes to Medicaid in Republican proposals for health care reform could cause insurance rates to go up for everyone, according to Rep. Kathy Castor.

Scott Going To Washington Amid Health Debate

Jun 26, 2017
Politico

After U.S. Senate leaders released a proposal Thursday to roll back the Affordable Care Act, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he will go to Washington next week to weigh in on the issues.

Governors in several states that opted to expand Medicaid under former President Barack Obama's health care law are wary of the Senate Republican plan to end the added federal funding for it within seven years.

Critics pounced after the Senate released its long-awaited bill to dismantle President Barack Obama's health care law on Thursday, saying its proposed cuts to Medicaid could be disastrous for the roughly 3.6 million Florida residents who rely on the program.

Annie E. Casey Foundation

Florida has made significant improvements in providing for its children, a recent study shows.

Florida lawmakers ended a special session Friday without taking up a Senate bill that would have pumped more Medicaid money into the state's hospitals.

Republicans in both the House and the Senate are considering big cuts to Medicaid. But those cuts endanger addiction treatment, which many people receive through the government health insurance program.

Senate Seeks To Bolster Hospital Funding

Jun 8, 2017
Tampa General Hospital

On the opening day of a special legislative session, Florida senators Wednesday began moving forward with a proposal to send more money to hospitals for treating Medicaid patients.

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