Medicaid expansion

HNF Stories
12:01 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Rep. Hudson on Medicaid Expansion: No!

Rep. Matt Hudson

Florida business groups, insurers, and hospitals are pushing state officials to accept billions of dollars in federal funds to cover the low-income uninsured.

But when the 2015 legislative session opens next Tuesday, this impressive coalition will run into Rep. Matt Hudson, a Naples Republican who chairs the Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee.

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HNF Stories
12:01 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Billions at Stake as State, Feds Negotiate Medicaid

Wikimedia Commons

When the 2015 legislative session begins next week, many of the state’s decisions on health care for the poor are on hold as state and federal Medicaid officials negotiate over funding, behind closed doors. Billions of dollars are at stake.

When it comes to health-care funding, Florida’s in a funny position. The state has twice turned down billions of dollars from federal Medicaid that would have covered care for about a million poor Floridians.

This year may be no different.

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HNF Stories
10:44 am
Tue February 10, 2015

CMS Official: No More LIP for Florida

Eliot Fishman
Credit Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services

The nation’s Medicaid chief said Tuesday the federal funds Florida hospitals have depended on to pay for the uninsured will not be arriving any more.

There is “no way” that Florida’s “Low Income Pool” program will continue when it expires in June, said Eliot Fishman, director of the Medicaid division of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  “Not in its present form.”

Fishman’s message blows a hole in Gov. Rick Scott’s budget, which includes $2 billion in federal funds for the Low Income Pool, or “LIP.” Half of the LIP is federal matching funds.

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HNF Stories
7:33 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Expanded Medicaid's Time May Have Come At Last, Miami-Dade Legisators Say

GOLDEN CARD About a million Floridians who are too poor and too well off at the same time may qualify for one of these after the next legislative session.

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 5:17 pm

The stars seem to be aligning for Medicaid expansion in the Florida Legislature this year.  After two years of blunt refusals to even consider it, some top Republicans, like Miami State Sen. Anitere Flores are saying the time has come.

"And what's interesting," Flores said after a Monday  interview with the Miami Herald editorial board, "is that you have the buy-in from the business community, from the private sector, from your nontraditional supporters of government funding."

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HNF Stories
8:05 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Billions Of Dollars At Stake In Medicaid Expansion Choice

TO EXPAND OR NOT Florida and the individual counties would suffer or prosper, according to the decision. For Florida, the difference between the two is $7 billion.

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 8:00 am

State health policy experts said Thursday prospects for expanding Medicaid in the Legislature this year remain dim because of unwillingness in the leadership and possibly fatal flaws in the two leading proposals. And those experts warn another refusal could come with a stunning economic cost for Florida.

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HNF Stories
2:56 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

House, Senate Remain Divided On Medicaid Expansion

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 7:36 pm

The Senate says it would consider expanding Florida's Medicaid program to nearly a million more low-income Floridians. The House is continuing to say no.

The federal government’s deal with Indiana to expand that state’s Medicaid program could boost the prospect of expansion in Florida. Indiana’s Medicaid expansion program includes co-pays and premiums for low-income people—something popular among republicans.  Senate President Andy Gardiner says Indiana has caught his chamber’s attention.

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HNF Stories
8:34 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Speaker: 'No Plans' To Expand Medicaid

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli
Credit Mark Foley / Florida House of Representatives

Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli on Wednesday said his chamber has "no plans" to expand Medicaid coverage to an additional 800,000 residents during the upcoming legislative session.

"We do not plan to do anything on Medicaid expansion," Crisafulli told reporters and editors at the annual Associated Press Legislative Planning Day at the Capitol. "I am a never-say-never kind of guy, and certainly anything can come about that provides opportunity, but at this time we do not plan to hear Medicaid expansion."

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HNF Stories
8:20 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Tampa-Area Hospitals Face $151M Cut

Credit Tampa General Hospital

Hillsborough County hospitals are scheduled to lose more than $151 million a year in funds for care of the uninsured beginning June 30, according to a report released Thursday.

The scheduled changes to two revenue streams “represent a tremendous loss of federal funding to the county and pose a significant risk,” warns the report by the Community Justice Project, part of Florida Legal Services.

Statewide, the coming annual loss will be $2.1 billion, estimates co-author Charlotte Cassel.

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HNF Stories
12:29 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Businesses Driving Expansion Push

Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn signed an open letter to the Legislature, advocating for a Medicaid expansion alternative.
Brian Blanco

Florida's Legislature has twice turned down proposals to provide health insurance for nearly 1 million state residents.  And the new House Speaker on Wednesday said he had “no plans” to expand Medicaid for the people caught in the so-called coverage gap.

But still state business leaders – and some mayors – continue to rally and aim to take another swing at it when the Legislature convenes March 3.

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HNF Stories
9:29 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Could Indiana Medicaid Expansion Tempt FL?

 The deal reached Tuesday between the Obama administration and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to expand Medicaid under the president’s health law should help sway reluctant Republican officials in other states because it imposes new costs on poor adults, promotes healthy behaviors and relies on financing from smokers and hospitals instead of state taxpayers, health experts say.

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HNF Stories
7:27 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Feds To Florida: We're Willing To Talk About Medicaid Expansion

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 10:34 am

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell says her agency is open to negotiating with states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs to more people.

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HNF Stories
9:14 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Lost Federal Money Quandary for Hospitals

UF Shands Hospital, Gainesville
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Florida health officials and lawmakers are facing a quandary over how to replace the likely annual loss of $1.3 billion in federal funds which compensate hospitals and providers that care for large numbers of uninsured and Medicaid patients.

The state has known for some time that the so-called low-income pool funding will likely end in June. It's still unclear what the bottom line impact will be on the state budget, but the seemingly inevitable loss in hospital funding could be just the ammunition that Medicaid expansion proponents have been looking for.

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HNF Stories
9:03 am
Fri January 16, 2015

FL Hospitals Could Lose $1.3 Billion

Credit Taber Andrew Bain, via Flickr Creative Commons

Florida’s safety-net hospitals stand to lose 15 percent of the money it receives from Medicaid next year, if state and federal officials don’t renew an agreement to cover care for poor state residents.

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HNF Stories
8:14 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Pension Reform, Anti-Medicaid Expansion Among Key AFP Fla. Legislative Issues

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 7:12 pm

A conservative backed group unveiled their legislative agenda for both the state and national levels Thursday.

Americans for Prosperity CEO Luke Hilgemann says he and his staff have talked to millions of people all over the U.S., including the Sunshine state.

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HNF Stories
7:12 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Florida Chamber Says It Will Support Medicaid Expansion...With Caveats

The Florida Chamber of Commerce

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 10:50 am

The pro-business Florida Chamber of Commerce has unveiled its health priorities for the upcoming legislative session.

The list includes big battles of years past—like letting some nurses and physician assistants expand their scope-of-practice, revamping the rules regarding medical lawsuits and possibly expanding the state’s Medicaid program for low-income Floridians. But that last part comes with a caveat--like capping how much Medicaid can take up in overall state spending.

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Health News Florida
8:31 am
Wed January 14, 2015

FL Chamber Supporting Health Care Expansion

A new health-care policy plan from the Florida Chamber of Commerce backs an expansion of health coverage under an alternative to Medicaid expansion, the Florida Times-Union reports. The chamber president says they “largely agree" with the "A Healthy Florida Works” plan backed by several Florida business groups.

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8:10 am
Mon January 12, 2015

FL Should Resolve to Expand Medicaid

Marc Yacht M.D.

In spite of massive conservative efforts to derail the Affordable Care Act, the train continues to lumber down the track. The Washington Post writes that at least 7.1 million people so far have enrolled in 2015 health plans. Somewhat short of projected enrollment with many states such as Florida instituting effective sign-up obstacles, the plan known as Obamacare marches on.

Fourteen states running their own alternative sign-ups can claim 633,000 enrollees. Florida projections suggest more than 1 million will be signed up through government exchanges by the deadline, February 15.

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HNF Stories
7:40 am
Fri January 9, 2015

Health Care Activists Call For Medicaid Expansion

Mariamee Rodriguez and her daughter both fall into the Medicaid "coverage gap."

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 7:05 am

Health care advocates gathered across Florida today — in Orlando, Tampa, Tallahassee, and Miami — calling on the state to accept federal funds and expand its Medicaid program.

A handful of people gathered in outside the Stephen P. Clark Government Center in Miami, several with big black circles painted under their eyes, making them appear sickly. Others wore face masks with slogans like “no coverage equals death” written on them.

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8:39 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Docs Face Pay Cuts, Patients May Pay The Price

Credit Kaiser Health News

Andy Pasternak, a family doctor in Reno, Nev., has seen more than 100 new Medicaid patients this year after the state expanded the insurance program under the Affordable Care Act.

But he won’t be taking any new ones after Dec. 31. That’s when the law’s two-year pay raise for primary care doctors like him who see Medicaid patients expires, resulting in fee reductions of 43 percent on average across the country, according to the nonpartisan Urban Institute.

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8:45 am
Mon January 5, 2015

GOP Govs Face Medicaid Expansion Roadblock

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam
Credit Associated Press

Governors across the political spectrum are hitting a roadblock in their bids to expand Medicaid with federal funds: Republican legislators who adamantly oppose "Obamacare."

While some of these governors themselves have criticized the president's health care law in general, they've come to see one component — Medicaid expansion — as too generous to reject. But they're battling conservative lawmakers who say it's better to turn down billions of federal dollars than to expand Medicaid under the 2010 law.

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HNF Stories
2:10 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Legislature Being Pushed for Medicaid Expansion

If Florida were to expand Medicaid, it would translate into $5 billion pumped into the state a year as the federal government pays for the new benefits. 

Non-expansion would mean that the public continues to pay for the treatment of uninsured, but without an annual $2 billion dollar reimbursement from a federal program that is scheduled to end this summer. 

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HNF Stories
9:08 am
Thu December 18, 2014

FL Senate Could Reconsider Expansion

Senate President Andy Gardiner

  Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner is leaving open the possibility that his chamber will consider an expansion of health care coverage for low-income Floridians.

“Intriguing" was the word Gardiner used on Wednesday for a plan from business and hospital leaders that would accept billions of dollars under the federal Affordable Care Act and provide coverage through private insurers. The plan, called "A Healthy Florida Works," was introduced last week.

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8:52 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Arkansas' Medicaid Experiment in Jeopardy

Arkansas became the first Southern state to expand its Medicaid program in a way that many Republicans found acceptable. The state bought private insurance for low-income people instead of adding them to the rolls of the Medicaid system, which GOP lawmakers considered bloated and inefficient.

Now Arkansas could be on the brink of another distinction: becoming the first to abandon its Medicaid expansion after giving coverage to thousands of people.

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4:20 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Tennessee Governor Moves To Expand Medicaid Coverage

Gov. Bill Haslam announces his proposal to expand Medicaid in Tennessee at the state Capitol in Nashville Monday.
Erik Schelzig AP

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 12:45 pm

Following the lead of other Republican governors, Tennessee's Gov. Bill Haslam is moving to expand Medicaid in his state, using federal funds from the Affordable Care Act. Haslam announced the plan Monday morning; it'll be debated by the legislature next month.

From Nashville, Bobby Allyn of member station WPLN reports:

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HNF Stories
4:19 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Supporters Hope Third Time Is The Charm For Medicaid Expansion In Florida

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 4:15 pm

A coalition of businesses groups, local officials and healthcare industry representatives has rolled out a plan to insure nearly one million low-income Floridians. But they’re not calling it a Medicaid Expansion. 

More than 800,ooo Floridians are in health insurance limbo. They fall into what’s called the Medicaid coverage gap. Reed Mahoney of Tallahassee, is among them.

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HNF Stories
9:00 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Burwell to FL Leaders: Let's Talk

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell spoke Tuesday in Orlando.
Abe Aboraya Health News Florida

If Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell has a chance, she wants to talk with Florida leaders about expanding Medicaid in Florida.

Burwell was at Florida Hospital in Orlando Tuesday promoting open enrollment on the federal insurance exchange.  

She said in an interview with Health News Florida that she’s trying to understand why Florida’s legislature has decided to not expand the government health coverage for the poor. She said she’s open to talking about Medicaid expansion with legislative leaders and Governor Rick Scott.

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HNF Stories
8:38 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Middle-Aged, Low Income Fall into 'Gap'

Carlos Seibane is both a patient and volunteer at the St. Petersburg Free Clinic.
Carol Gentry, Health News Florida

When the Affordable Care Act’s federal marketplace opened last year, Beth and Doug Warner of St. Petersburg asked a navigator to enroll them. But they discovered their income wasn’t high enough to get a subsidy.

Without one, Doug Warner said, the policy for the couple would cost $700 a month. “Basically the choice was, ‘Keep the roof over your head or buy healthcare.'”

It’s one of the great ironies of the health overhaul. Floridians most in need of health insurance -- adults below the poverty line -- are often blocked from coverage the Affordable Care Act provides.

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HNF Stories
7:59 am
Thu December 4, 2014

AIF, FHA Pitch Plan To Insure A Million Low-Income Floridians

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 5:41 pm

A new coalition combining local business and health care groups is pushing a plan to insure more than a million Floridians who currently fall in the so-called Medicaid coverage gap.

More than a million Floridians make too much money to qualify for Medicaid under the state’s current income limits, but too little to qualify for insurance subsidies in the federally-run insurance exchange. The Florida legislature has twice rejected plans to expand Medicaid to those people.  

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HNF Stories
10:02 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Rally Urges Lawmakers to Expand Medicaid

Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa

As the next crop of Florida legislators met for the first time in Tallahassee on Tuesday, health care advocates and the new leader of the Senate Democratic caucus pushed for Medicaid expansion. 

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HNF Stories
9:25 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Medicaid Expansion Still a No-Go in FL, TX

Texas and Florida, with their large uninsured populations, are not expected to offer coverage to many low-income patients. KHN’s Phil Galewitz and Mary Agnes Carey discuss:

MARY AGNES CAREY:  Welcome to Enrollment Encore: What you need to know before open enrollment in the health law’s marketplaces begins again on November 15th. I’m Mary Agnes Carey.

KHN Senior Correspondent Phil Galewitz joins me now to talk about Medicaid and the health law.

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