Medicaid expansion

The Affordable Care Act has achieved at least part of what it set out to do—but there are still quite a few questions about the long-term impact of the health legislation, according to a new study published in the journal Health Services Research.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

Consumer advocacy group Florida CHAIN released a new report Wednesday that once again calls for the expansion of Medicaid in the state.

The push comes despite the fact that Florida House lawmakers have shut down expansion of the health care for the poor each year since 2010.

As President Barack Obama nears the end of his presidency, his Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell stopped in Jacksonville Tuesday to highlight his most consequential policy — the Affordable Care Act.

Burwell visited a hospital that was an early adopter of one ACA program meant to improve the quality of healthcare.


Advocates for expanding Medicaid are saying the stakes have never been higher, especially in Hillsborough County.

Gaps In Women’s Health Care May Derail Zika Prevention In Florida, Texas

Jun 14, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

Mosquitoes bearing Zika — a virus that can cause birth defects when contracted by pregnant women — are expected to reach the United States as soon as this summer, with Florida and Texas likely to be among the hardest-hit states.

Majority Of Floridians And Texans Want Medicaid Expansion, Survey Shows

May 24, 2016
Source: The Kaiser Family Foundation

Americans who live in the two biggest states that haven’t expanded Medicaid have more complaints about health care costs and quality, according to a new survey released by the Texas Medical Center Health Policy Institute in Houston. They’d also like their states to expand Medicaid.

Jason Redmond / AP

Reductions in federal funding for Medicaid are adding to the financial strain in Bay County in Florida’s panhandle, according to the Panama City News Herald.

Study: Medicaid Expansion Encourages More Poor Adults To Get Health Care

Apr 19, 2016
Source: The Kaiser Family Foundation

In states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, low-income adults were more likely to see a doctor, stay overnight in a hospital and receive their first diagnoses of diabetes and high cholesterol, according to a study published Monday.

The federal government says non-Medicaid expansion states could be doing more to help people with substance abuse and mental health disorders. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 300,000 uninsured Floridians with such disorders could be treated if Florida expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

David Goldman/Associated Press

Eight states, including Florida,  saw a significant drop last year in the number of residents going without health insurance, according to a government report out Tuesday that has implications for the presidential campaign.

Hispanic Children’s Uninsured Rate Hits Record Low, Study Finds

Jan 20, 2016

The rate of Hispanic children without health insurance fell to a historic low in 2014, the first year that key parts of Obamacare took effect, but they still represent a disproportionate share of the nation’s uninsured youth, according to a new study.

Twitter/Mayor Bob Buckhorn

President's Obama's top health administrator visited the Sunshine State as the deadline to sign up for health insurance nears.

WMFE

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-FL 5th District, brought a campaign to put Florida Medicaid expansion on the ballot to Central Florida on Friday.

  With the third year of open enrollment under way on Healthcare.gov, President Barack Obama is focusing his efforts on people eligible to buy policies on the insurance marketplace.

Political battles over expanding Medicaid in states including Florida are important, but not as easy to win, he told WUSF in an Oval Office interview Thursday.

The government's insurance website is faster and easier to use, but as a third sign-up season gets underway, President Barack Obama's health care law is approaching limits.

LIP Funding Not Going Up

Oct 19, 2015

The federal government isn’t changing its budget for Florida’s charity health care. 

The 22 states that didn't expand Medicaid eligibility as part of Obamacare last year saw their costs to provide health care to the poor rise twice as fast as states that extended benefits to more low-income residents.

It's a counterintuitive twist for those states whose governors, most Republicans who opposed the Affordable Care Act, chose not to accept federal funds to extend Medicaid to more people.

It seems Florida lawmakers aren't the only ones who can't agree. Residents also are divided over key economic and social issues, according to the latest release of the Sunshine State Survey.

Associated Press

The percentage of Americans without health insurance dropped by nearly three percentage points between 2013 and 2014, according the U.S. Census Bureau, from 13.3 to 10.4 percent. Put another way, 8.8 million more people were insured in 2014 than the year before.

A Northeast Florida lawmaker is predicting Medicaid expansion won't be a factor during the next legislative session.

Senate Health Policy Chairman Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach) said his focus will be on bringing down health care costs, rather than expanding coverage in 2016.

That’s because the federal government agreed to extend funding for uninsured patients through next year.


More than a dozen states that opted to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act have seen enrollments surge way beyond projections, raising concerns that the added costs will strain their budgets when federal aid is scaled back starting in two years.

Some lawmakers warn the price of expanding the health care program for poor and lower-income Americans could mean less money available for other state services, including education.

MyFloridaHouse.gov

A bruising budget battle that divided Republicans in the Florida Legislature is over for now, but the truce is likely only to last a few months.

Legislators passed a nearly $79 billion budget Friday with just days to spare. Legislators had until July 1 to pass a budget or state government would have been partially shut down. They didn't pass a budget during their regular session because they were divided over health care spending. That sparked a stalemate — and finger-pointing will remain when legislators return for their 2016 session.

Florida Senate

Bills that involve state workers' health insurance, nurse-practitioners and hospital regulations died during this week's Legislative special session because the Senate has declined to consider them.

Senate Health Policy Chairman Aaron Bean said in a statement Monday evening that his colleagues felt there wasn't time to consider major policy changes by Friday, the last day of the special session called to finish work on a state budget.

The issues contained in the House bills require "a thorough and proper vetting," said Bean, R-Fernandina Beach.

Associated Press

The Obama administration says there’s no need for a judge to order mediation as Gov. Rick Scott requested because they’ve been engaged in ongoing discussions with Florida.

In court documents filed Tuesday, federal health officials said they talked with Florida as recently as Monday and that the discussions are ongoing and have been productive. The Obama administration also said there is no basis for mediation because their administration has already been clear on the core issue of the lawsuit.

Florida House of Representatives

The Florida House has soundly rejected a Medicaid expansion compromise that even supporters admitted had its flaws and was seemingly doomed to fail almost from the start.

The bill, which tore apart the regular session as the House and Senate bitterly disagreed, was voted down 72-41 Friday after a rousing, nearly seven-hour debate during which nearly 60 lawmakers spoke.

Florida Senate

Key Republicans on Tuesday asserted that the administration of Florida Gov. Rick Scott was playing politics in a continuing fight over health care that has already derailed one legislative session this year.

Scott, who has changed his stance on whether to expand Medicaid coverage twice now, is opposed to a plan pushed by Senate Republicans that would use federal money to provide private insurance to low-income Floridians.

StateImpact.org

After a passionate debate, the Florida Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would let a half million people use billions in federal dollars to buy health insurance, and added new measures to address criticism from the House, chiefly that the program would end in three years.

The revised version of the Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange, or FHIX, today heads to the floor of the Florida House, which is unlikely to back the proposal.

Key Republicans on Tuesday asserted that the administration of Florida Gov. Rick Scott was playing politics in a continuing fight over health care that has already derailed one legislative session this year.

Scott, who has changed his stance on whether to expand Medicaid coverage twice now, is opposed to a plan pushed by Senate Republicans that would use federal money to provide private insurance to low-income Floridians.

Senators Rake Medicaid Official Over Coals

Jun 3, 2015
Agency for Health Care Administration

 A Senate committee tore into a high-ranking official from Gov. Rick Scott's administration Tuesday in a sign of mounting frustration with the governor's role in the legislative battle over health care.

During a Senate Appropriations Committee meeting held to approve a proposal (SB 2-A) aimed at helping lower-income Floridians get health insurance, committee members from both parties spent more than an hour grilling state Medicaid director Justin Senior over a perceived lack of respect for the Senate.

The Florida Legislature kicked off a 20-day special session Monday, with legislative leaders sounding more open to compromise as they race against the clock to pass a new state budget.

The conciliatory tone espoused by House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner was different than it was just a few weeks ago when the Republican-controlled Legislature ended its session amid finger-pointing and lawsuits.

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