Medicaid expansion

HNF Stories
2:15 pm
Sun March 22, 2015

House, Senate Healthcare Dispute Shows Up In $4B Gap In Spending Plans

Matt Ross, 23, is one of more than 800,000 Floridians stuck in what's called the Medicaid coverage gap. The Medicaid issue is diving the Florida legislature as it tries to craft a budget.

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 5:33 pm

Continued uncertainty over federal health funding is causing budget pains in the Florida legislature. The House and Senate have a $4 billion  gap in their proposed spending plans for the upcoming fiscal year—and that’s largely due to disagreements over the biggest part of state spending: Medicaid.

The first floor of the Capital is swarming with people dashing back and forth—some pushing frantically at the slow-running elevators, others giving up—and dashing up the stairwells instead. Off to the side, is 23-year-old Broward resident Matt Ross.

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HNF Stories
3:03 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Health Expansion, LIP Program Divide Budget Proposals

In a move that creates a $5 billion divide with the House, the Senate released a budget proposal Thursday that banks on expanding health-care coverage for low-income Floridians and extending a critical funding program for hospitals.

The Senate proposal, approved by a key budget panel and touted by President Andy Gardiner, reinforces that health-care funding could be the most-vexing issue facing lawmakers during the rest of this year's legislative session.

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HNF Stories
10:19 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Delays Often Cost FL Federal Funds

USF Professor of Public Health Jay Wolfson
Credit USF Health News

When federal money’s on the table, most states go for it like coupon-clippers at a closeout sale.

But studies show that when it comes to seeking federal money, Florida holds back, particularly in health care. Sometimes, the state changes its mind later and asks for its share of the money, only to discover that it’s too late; other states have made off with it.

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HNF Stories
7:55 am
Wed March 18, 2015

House Moves To Strike LIP Pool From Budget, Laws As Negotiations Continue

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 5:21 pm

Florida house budget writers say they expect the federal government to give the state money to support hospitals that treat uninsured patients. But they don’t believe it will remain the same as the current program, and they’re not counting on the dollars as they build a budget.


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HNF Stories
6:54 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Health Expansion Moves On in Senate

Senate Healthy Policy Chair Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach
Credit Florida Senate

 Defending the possible acceptance of billions of dollars in federal money, a Senate panel Tuesday unanimously approved a plan that would extend health-care coverage to about 800,000 low-income Floridians.

The plan (SB 7044), backed by the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee, appears to be moving quickly in the Senate. But House Republican leaders, who for the past two years have flatly rejected accepting federal money to expand coverage through Medicaid or another program, have given no indication they will go along with the Senate.

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HNF Stories
5:00 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

If FL Medicaid Expansion Plan Passes, Still Faces Negotiations With Feds

Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.
Credit Georgetown University Health Policy Institute

A plan to provide health care coverage to 800,000 Floridians faces an uphill battle after unanimous approval by the Senate Health Policy Committee.

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Consumer
8:52 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Florida Has Most to Lose in Subsidy Case

Credit HealthCare.gov

Nearly 8 million people could lose up to $24 billion a year in health insurance subsidies in a Supreme Court case threatening President Barack Obama's law, according to a government report released Tuesday.

The estimates by The Associated Press show what's at stake in the case. The biggest potential loser would be Florida, with nearly 1.5 million residents getting an average of $294 a month. That works to $440 million a month currently, or up to $5.2 billion a year for the state. The subsidies are delivered in the form of tax credits.

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HNF Stories
7:48 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Clash Over Medicaid Expansion Could Lead To A Special Session For The Budget

Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville) talks Medicaid expansion plans

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 5:55 pm

Florida lawmakers are watching a projected $1 billion surplus disappear before their eyes. The cause: the impending loss of $1 billion in federal funds that support hospitals that treat low-income, uninsured patients. Both Governor Rick Scott and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli are counting on that money to come down, but the Senate is not.

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HNF Stories
8:45 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Hospital CEO: Medicaid Expansion Not Lost Cause

Florida Hospital CEO Lars Houmann
Credit Florida Hospital

Florida tops the nation with the number of residents getting subsidies to buy health insurance through the federal health insurance exchange. One reason: state legislators decided against expanding Medicaid, the state’s health insurance program for the poor and disabled.

Florida Hospital CEO Lars Houmann was in Tallahassee as the legislative session kicked off, urging lawmakers to take billions of dollars and give health care to nearly a million more Floridians.

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HNF Stories
7:44 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Florida Health Choices To Become Medicaid Expansion Vehicle Under Senate Plan

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 5:29 pm

Florida's small-business marketplace is in for major changes under the Senate's Medicaid expansion proposal. After a slow start getting up and running, Florida Health Choices could see its customer base grow exponentially under the Senate's plan.

Last week Senate leaders opened the door to using federal funds to support more than 800,000 uninsured Floridians. Now lawmakers in the chamber have a plan. But it’s not quite what some proponents of a Medicaid expansion, expected.

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NPR Story
7:43 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Miami Leaders Urge Lawmakers To Expand Medicaid

Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado addressing the issue of Medicaid expansion. On the monitors there's a photo of an uninsured man with a sign that says "no insurance". Harry Melo (also pictured) falls under the coverage gap and is also not insured.

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 7:13 pm

Harry Melo is a 25-year-old grad student from New York who came to Miami two months ago for school. In New York he was able to sign up for Medicaid.

He was surprised to find out that in Florida there’s a “coverage gap” where uninsured people who can’t afford health care insurance also don’t qualify for Obamacare. Melo is now in that gap.

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HNF Stories
9:13 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Nelson: Feds Won't Back Down on Health Care Aid

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson says the Obama administration won't back down on cutting off over $1 billion in aid to Florida hospitals if the state doesn't expand its Medicaid program.

Speaking to reporters, the Democratic senator said Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell told him her position on the aid is firm.

The aid pays hospitals for providing care to the indigent. It's supposed to end because Obama's health care plan provides indigent care through the Medicaid program.

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HNF Stories
8:45 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Senate Pitches Medicaid Expansion Alternative

Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach
Credit Florida Senate

An alternative to Medicaid expansion is being proposed in the Senate in a bill that would use federal funds to offer health insurance to nearly 1 million low-income Floridians.

Thursday's proposal from Sen. Aaron Bean's Health Policy Committee will still allow the state to take billions of federal dollars, but would give consumers vouchers to purchase private insurance. The Republican-led Legislature has been opposed to Medicaid expansion but has been more open to this option.

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HNF Stories
7:32 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Senate Starts Medicaid Expansion Talks With Two...Maybe Three Plans Already On The Table

Indiana health officials talk Medicaid expansion via video conferencing.

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 4:33 pm

With a potential $1 billion budget hole looming, the Florida Senate is starting to consider whether and how to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid. There are at least two proposed bills floating around the chamber, and lawmakers are also raising the possibility of resurrecting the original plan, dubbed NegronCare.

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HNF Stories
9:13 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Budget, Health Care Issues Cloud Legislature's Opening Day

Senate President Andy Gardiner
Credit MyFloridaHouse.gov

  The Republican-led Florida Legislature kicked off its annual session Tuesday with the usual pomp, but the celebratory nature was overshadowed by lingering questions about the state budget, tax cuts and health care.

The two GOP legislators in charge opened the session by stressing areas on which they plan to work in tandem over the next 60 days. That included dealing with the state's standardized testing system.

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HNF Stories
8:57 am
Wed March 4, 2015

No Medicaid Expansion? No Problem For Many Safety-Net Hospital Profits

Hospitals that treat many poor and uninsured patients were expected to face tough financial times in states that did not expand Medicaid under the federal law known as Obamacare.

That’s because they would get less Medicare and Medicaid funding under the Affordable Care Act, while still having to provide high levels of charity care.

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HNF Stories
12:01 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Rep. Hudson on Medicaid Expansion: No!

Rep. Matt Hudson
Credit Florida Legislature

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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