Medicaid expansion

Opinion
10:46 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Feds Compromised; FL Should, Too

Greg Mellowe
Credit Ryan K. Morris/Florida CHAIN

Re: Feds Approve $2.2B for Hospitals, Med Schools

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.

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Health News Florida
10:18 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Mother of 3 in Medicaid 'Gap' Dies

While 7 million Americans enrolled for health insurance before the March 31 Affordable Care Act deadline,  Charlene Dill wasn’t one of them.

The young mother of three collapsed and died from a treatable heart condition on March 21. She fell into  Florida’s health care gap; her income from part-time commission-based jobs was just $9,000, too poor for Affordable Care Act subsidies, the Orlando Weekly magazine reports.

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HNF Stories
10:21 am
Fri April 11, 2014

FL Medicaid Enrollment Expands

Florida’s Republican lawmakers remain staunchly opposed to expanding Medicaid — a system they’ve repeatedly said is too expensive and doesn’t improve health outcomes. Yet Florida’s Medicaid rolls are expanding under the Affordable Care Act whether Florida likes it or not.

That’s because people trying to sign up for health insurance under President Obama’s new health law are finding out — to their surprise — that they qualify for Medicaid, the federal health insurance program for the poor.

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HNF Stories
8:49 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Public Keeps Pushing for Expansion

A campaign - that some would call a doomed campaign - to expand Medicaid for Florida's uninsured poor continued in Tallahassee on Thursday with a mass lobby conducted by doctors and nurses from Miami's Jackson Hospital. They went from office to office in the state capitol seeking legislative support…but got basically nowhere.

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HNF Stories
11:18 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Nelson Plan: Use Local Match

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson cranked up the hopes of many Democrats last week by hinting that he had a plan that might revive the moribund Medicaid expansion in Florida, which would cover those too poor to qualify for tax credits on Healthcare.gov.

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HNF Stories
11:04 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Nelson Says CMS in Talks on Medicaid

Raising hopes that Medicaid expansion isn't as dead as it seems, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson told Florida House Democrats on Wednesday that he is working on a solution with federal health officials -- but he wouldn't say what it was.

As The Florida Current reports, Nelson also said the state budget for 2014-15, which is being written right now, could lose $600 million in federal funds if the state doesn't compromise. He said it will be "a real shocker," but didn't elaborate.

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Health News Florida
10:20 am
Wed March 19, 2014

FMA Disputes Nurse Practitioner Report

Florida TaxWatch’s recent report, “Diagnosing the Debate,” offers data that support proposals before the Legislature that would allow nurse practitioners to practice independently from doctors, the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau reports.  The Florida Medical Association, which fiercely opposes the legislation, has called on TaxWatch to withdraw the report, pointing to “five serious flaws.”   TaxWatch stands by the report, saying th

Health News Florida
1:46 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

What Could State Do With $470M?

State Democrats have calculated that the state could conservatively save $470 million of what it will otherwise spend next year if it accepted federal funds for Medicaid expansion, even after paying to cover the hundreds of thousands of low-income uninsured.

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HNF Stories
7:30 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Don't Say 'Medicaid' Around Gaetz

Senate President Don Gaetz
Credit State Impact, NPR

Florida Senate President Don Gaetz, who doesn't think it's sappy to speak of "public service" and would go the second mile for a kid or a veteran or an elder, doesn't want to talk about Medicaid.

Even though he spent much of his adult life as a health-care executive - he's been a hospital administrator, and founded a hospice - he seems to despise the joint state-federal health program for the poor. He gets grumpy when the subject of Medicaid comes up.

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Opinion
7:39 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Corcoran, Bean Also Blocking Medicaid

Gary Stein

House Speaker Will Weatherford has become the blocker-in-chief of Medicaid expansion in Florida, appearing before cheering crowds of Koch Brothers acolytes. But others in the Florida Legislature also are reluctant to take the $51 billion available for Florida to give health coverage to the poor, as columnist Gary Stein writes in ContextFlorida.com.

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Opinion
11:09 am
Mon March 10, 2014

FL Destined to Pass Up Billions

Aaron Deslatte
Credit Orlando Sentinel

Last week in Tallahassee, the NAACP led a rally at the Capitol aimed at prodding the Legislature to accept $51 billion in federal funds to cover almost 1 million low-income uninsured in Florida. A few hours later, Americans for Prosperity, a Tea Party group aligned with the Koch Brothers, cheered House Speaker Will Weatherford as he vowed not to take the money.

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Opinion
11:01 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Hospitals: New Medicaid Formula Devastating

A proposal to redistribute Medicaid money collected by local communities is being criticized by three South Florida hospital executives, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

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HNF Stories
11:09 am
Thu March 6, 2014

‘It’s All About Hope’ -- and $51B

Drs. Owen Linder and Mona Mangat
Carol Gentry Health News Florida/WUSF

A lot of money - $200 million a month or $7 million a day – could be used to buy health coverage for Florida's poor. But it all could go to some other state, said advocates who held a Capitol press conference Wednesday with the message: “Take the Money!”

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Health News Florida
10:47 am
Wed March 5, 2014

No Medicaid Mention in State of the State

One issue Democrats noticed was left out in Gov. Rick Scott’s State of the State address on Tuesday: Medicaid expansion.

As the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports, Democratic responses from Senate Minority Leader Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, and House Minority Leader Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, chastised Scott for not supporting the acceptance of federal money to expand Medicaid to low-income Floridians.

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Opinion
10:33 am
Wed March 5, 2014

FL Wrong to Reject Medicaid Money

In the Miami Herald, Fabiola Santiago writes that it's negligent for lawmakers to reject more than $51 billion in federal money to provide health insurance to poor Floridians. She calls House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, a “fool” and a “hypocrite” in his fight against Medicaid expansion and resistance to alternatives drawn up by Republicans.

Health News Florida
10:53 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Election Year Could Keep Session Calm

Florida’s 2014 Legislative session will start with the typical benign tone that comes during an election year. But it’s unclear if the Republican-led legislature can keep things status quo, the Hearld/Times Tallahassee Bureau reports.

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Opinion
10:29 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

It's Hard to Say How Many Will Die in Medicaid Fight

PolitiFact Florida recently tackled the politically sticky and academically difficult question of whether people will die sooner than they should because the state refuses to expand Medicaid to those with incomes under the poverty level. The short answer is yes, probably some will, but it's hard to know precisely how many.

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HNF Stories
10:39 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

On Medicaid, FMA Punts Again

The Florida Medical Association’s Board of Governors turned aside a resolution in support of Medicaid Expansion last weekend, sending it to a committee. While FMA did not say that effectively kills it for this legislative session, its supporters did.

    

“I am disappointed and disagree with tabling it, and disagree with the politics involved, which in essence will keep the status quo while patients, physicians and hospital suffer the consequences,” said Dr. Aaron Elkin of Hollywood, sponsor of the resolution.

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Health News Florida
10:20 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Crist: Scott, Legislature Killing Uninsured

Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist’s national media tour includes a fiery salvo: Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican Legislature are tied to the deaths of uninsured Floridians. 

The former governor and Democratic candidate told MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown” that “six people in Florida die every day as a result” of the state’s failure to expand Medicaid for the poor and uninsured.

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Opinion
10:15 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Who Dies Without Medicaid?

Amid the ongoing Medicaid expansion debate, health consultant Paul Gionfriddo points to several studies that say thousands nationwide could die prematurely if Medicaid is not expanded. At his blog Our Health Policy Matters, Gionfriddo writes that lawmakers should not ignore the compelling data indicating the life and death impacts of health coverage through Medicaid.

HNF Stories
9:21 am
Wed February 5, 2014

FMA to Tackle Medicaid Expansion

Dr. Aaron Elkin

The Florida Medical Association, one of Tallahassee’s most influential lobby groups, sat out last year’s legislative nail-biter over Medicaid expansion, saving its firepower for pocketbook issues, such as making it harder for patients to sue and keeping non-physicians off their turf.

But now an FMA advisory committee that studied the issue is backing Medicaid expansion, which would bring in federal funds to cover the low-income uninsured, according to two doctors who have seen the documents.  A resolution from that committee goes to the FMA Board of Governors later this week.

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Opinion
10:35 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Legislature Not Family Friendly

The state’s legal stance on gay marriage and Medicaid are not family friendly, say opinion columns from the Tampa Bay Times and Orlando Sentinel.

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Health News Florida
10:23 am
Thu January 23, 2014

'No' on Expansion Costs Business

The decision by state lawmakers not to expand Medicaid could cost Florida businesses as much as $253 million a year in tax penalties, according to a new report released Wednesday.

Companies with 50 or more employees face Internal Revenue Service penalties if workers get subsidized health insurance through the new exchange under the Affordable Care Act. But they face no penalty if workers get subsidized coverage through Medicaid.

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Health News Florida
11:24 am
Wed January 22, 2014

GOP Lawmaker Resurrects Expansion

State Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah
Credit Sammy Mack

A Republican state senator wants Florida to use federal Medicaid expansion money to help low-income Floridians purchase health insurance,  the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau reports.

State Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, filed a proposal Tuesday that is similar to the bill that won support in the state Senate last year, but died in the House. Garcia said that not taking the federal money is "irresponsible."

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Opinion
10:58 am
Wed January 8, 2014

What Does Medicaid Study Tell Us?

A study about the impact of the 2008 Oregon Medicaid expansion on hospital emergency department visits doesn’t actually tell us much about the Affordable Care Act, consultant Paul Gionfriddo writes at his website, Our Health Policy Matters. Gionfriddo details why he thinks the study is more history than news.

Health News Florida
10:42 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Gov. Scott Dodges Medicaid Question

Gov. Rick Scott
Credit AP

Gov. Rick Scott, who is running for re-election, chose not to answer questions Wednesday about whether he still supports Medicaid expansion -- for which the federal government has offered Florida $51 billion over the next decade as part of the Affordable Care Act.

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Health News Florida
3:52 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Despite Big Market In Florida, Obamacare Is A Hard Sell

Enroll America outreach workers talk to congregants at the Mt. Calvary Church in Jacksonville, Fla.
Eric Whitney

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 2:39 pm

Getting people to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act remains an uphill battle in much of Florida.

Politicians in the state erected roadblocks to the law from the beginning — from joining in the 2010 lawsuit to thwart the law to placing restrictions on what insurance helpers called navigators can tell people seeking advice.

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Opinion
10:40 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Speaker's Medicaid Stand Full of Holes

John Romano

Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford keeps listing the same old tired excuses for refusing to expand Medicaid to Florida's lowest-income uninsured, says Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano (paywall alert).

Romano lists the excuses and explains why they are simply not true.

--Reason No. 1: "Medicaid is a flawed system."

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Health News Florida
8:33 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Glitches Mar Exchange of Medicaid Data

People filling out insurance applications on the federal marketplace may learn they're eligible for Medicaid and their information is being sent to state officials to sign them up. However, states are getting unusable information because of technical problems that continue to plague the website.

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HNF Stories
11:42 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Medicaid Grows Without 'Expansion' $

Even though Florida’s Legislature turned down federal funds to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, leaving billions of federal dollars on the table, the state's health insurance program for the poor continues to grow.

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