A report released Monday by Florida Legal Services, a non-profit legal advocate for the poor, says hospitals that treat large numbers of patients without health insurance stand to lose billions because of the Florida Legislature’s refusal to expand Medicaid, the Miami Herald reports.
With sign-up season launching this weekend, officials sharply dialed down expectations Monday for the second year of President Barack Obama’s health insurance law.
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said she’s aiming to have 9.1 million paying customers enrolled in 2015 for subsidized private coverage through HealthCare.gov and state insurance markets.
That’s more than now, but well below the 13 million that the Congressional Budget Office had projected.
Tuesday’s re-election of Republican governors in closely contested races in Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin, Maine and Kansas dims the chances of Medicaid expansion in those states.
Advocates hoping for Democratic victories in those states were disappointed by the outcomes, but Alaska, which also has a Republican incumbent, remains in play as an independent challenger holds a narrow lead going into a count of absentee ballots.
Democratic candidate Judithanne McLauchlan, who was inspired to run for Florida Senate District 22 against incumbent Republican Jeff Brandes because he was the only vote in the Senate against an alternative to Medicaid expansion, lost 57 percent to 43 percent.
During the 2013 Legislative session, Brandes was the lone vote against state Sen. Joe Negron’s alternative to Medicaid expansion. The plan, which would have drawn down $51 billion in federal funding over 10 years under the Affordable Care Act, was ultimately defeated by the Republican-controlled House.
The University of Kentucky’s Chandler Hospital has seen its inpatient numbers rise by 5 percent and its outpatient numbers rise by 10 percent since July. But its number of uninsured patients has dropped, from about 9 percent to 2.5 percent.
Prior to this year, says Chandler’s Dr. Michael Karpf, “we were getting paid 10 cents on the dollar” serving low-income patients. “Now we are getting 40 cents on the dollar, so the cost of care for these people isn’t totally covered, but there is a lot more reimbursement. It means we are having very strong bottom lines in the hospital.”
Charlie Crist has been hitting current Gov. Rick Scott hard on his inability to expand Medicaid throughout the election season. During Tuesday's debate, Scott fired back at Crist, asking him why he didn't expand Medicaid in 2010, his final year as governor and the year the Affordable Care Act passed.
Left to Right: Al Ruechel (Bay News 9), Ybeth Bruzual (News 13) and Adam Smith (Tampa Bay Times) moderate the only debate among the three candidates for Florida Attorney General: Pam Bondi (incumbent, Republican), George Sheldon (Democrat) and Bill Wohlsifer (Libertarian).
If former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist gets his old job back, he promises to expand Medicaid to roughly 1 million low-income residents by calling a special session of the Legislature or through an executive order. If Gov. Rick Scott is re-elected, the decision will be once again left to the Legislature with little meddling from him.
Democratic candidates were the only ones to show at a legislative forum organized by the Tampa Bay Healthcare Collaborative. And each one said Florida needs to take federal funding to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
The participants included Lorena Grizzle (D) – House District 66 candidate; Steve Sarnoff (D) – House District 67 candidate; Scott Orsini (D) - House District 69 candidate; and Judithanne McLauchlan (D) – Senate District 22 candidate.
Florida’s gubernatorial candidates say they support Medicaid expansion, but it’s hard to know that on the campaign trail, according to the News Service of Florida. Democrat Charlie Crist is pushing for a special session to consider expansion of the state health care program for the poor. Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who backed expansion in 2013, has remained fairly quiet on the issues.
Florida looks to lose more federal money set aside for Medicaid than any state that has opted out of expanding the health care program for the poor, says a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute.
Expanding Medicaid to an additional 1 million Floridians under President Barack Obama's new health law is turning into one of the biggest issues of this year's gubernatorial race.
Former Gov. Charlie Crist brings up the topic on most campaign stops and says one of the first things he'll do if elected is call a special session to expand Medicaid. His opponent, incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott, seems to be waning in his support.
Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist told the Miami Herald editorial board that he wants a special session to try and convince lawmakers to expand state-run health care coverage for low-income residents.
The Florida Medical Association surprised many this week when word came that its House of Delegates embraced a resolution calling for the legislature to expand Medicaid, the state-run program that's supposed to cover low-income people.
The money to do so, an estimated $51 billion over 10 years, had already been set aside by the federal government to begin in January this year, but the state House of Representatives refused to take it. The FMA delegates want the Legislature to change its position.
The Florida Medical Association's House of Delegates overwhelmingly adopted a resolution supporting Medicaid expansion to cover uninsured low-income adults at FMA's annual meeting on Sunday, according to doctors who were there.
(Editor's note: This story has been updated with the statement from FMA.)
The White House will release a state-by-state report Wednesday which estimates that a Medicaid expansion in Florida would generate 63,800 jobs from 2014-2017. Most of the jobs would be in health care, while providing health care to 848,000 people, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Ninety-three organizations in the state that are working in coalition under the title Health Care for Florida Now are asking Floridians to sign a petition calling for the state to accept federal funds to expand coverage to low-income adults who are in the so-called "Coverage Gap."
In 2013 the Florida House voted not to accept the $51 billion over 10 years in federal funds available for the program under the Affordable Care Act even though the Senate approved it and Gov. Rick Scott said he would sign it.
Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano tells how Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a long-time opponent of the Affordable Care Act, nevertheless has asked the federal government for ACA funds to cover his state's uninsured citizens.
Since being diagnosed with a heart condition, Mark Heath has lost his home, his boat and most of his possessions. As one of the 800,000 Floridians trapped in the state’s Medicaid gap, he told the Daytona Beach News-Journal he didn’t have the means or access to needed medical care.
In a column in the Tampa Bay Times, John Romano writes that more than a year ago, lawmakers claimed they were going to look for a solution to help low-income Floridians get health coverage after the House turned down a Senate bill to accept $51 billion in federal funds -- money made available through an alternative to Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
Florida Sen. Bill Nelson says the Florida House and not the federal government is to blame for the state's lack of Medicaid expansion.
Nelson, a Democrat, is responding to Sen. President Don Gaetz's letter last week to Sylvia Burwell, nominee for Secretary of Health & Human Services. In it, Gaetz, a Republican, said states need more authority to design their own programs for the Medicaid expansion. In Florida, that includes about 800,000 poor adults.
All session long, Florida's legislative leaders have frustrated advocates for the poor, as well as much of the business community, by declining to talk about the billions of federal dollars for Medicaid expansion that the state is forgoing.
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which allowed a three-year extension of Florida’s Statewide Medicaid Managed Care program, approved only a one-year extension of the Low Income Pool (LIP). The LIP provides the state with additional federal Medicaid funding that hospitals can use to address the issue of uncompensated care for uninsured patients.