Medicaid expansion

HNF Stories
2:52 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Gardiner: Send Full FHIX Plan to Feds

Senate President Andy Gardiner
Credit Florida Senate

Florida Medicaid’s request that federal officials send the state $2.2 billion dollars to keep the Low Income Pool subsidies flowing to hospitals won’t work because a vital part is missing, Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner says.

The missing link, he said, is the Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange, known as the FHIX. It is the Senate’s plan to cover up to 1 million of Florida’s low-income uninsured residents by accepting billions of dollars in Medicaid expansion money under the Affordable Care Act.

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HNF Stories
8:53 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Business Leaders Call On Lawmakers To Act On Medicaid

Credit WMFE

More than 150 local business, hospital and civic leaders met in downtown Orlando Friday to discuss the impacts of the Florida Legislature’s impasse on Medicaid expansion.

Central Florida Partnership and the Central Florida Chambers of Commerce Alliance hosted the health care briefing. Mark Brewer is president and CEO of Central Florida Foundation, which is home for more than 400 charitable funds. He says the bottom line is business leaders want lawmakers to act.

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HNF Stories
8:51 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Lawmaker: Medicaid Remains Budget Sticking Point

State Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Florida legislative session is due to end Friday, May 1, but it seems unlikely that lawmakers can agree on a budget before then. At the center of the standoff between the state house and the senate is a disagreement over whether to take Federal money to expand Medicaid.

If Florida doesn’t expand its Medicaid program the Federal government says it will hold back more than a billion dollars in funding for low-income patients.

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HNF Stories
7:23 am
Fri April 24, 2015

House Republicans Make Budget Offer

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli
Credit Florida Legislature

 Top Republicans in the Florida House made an offer Thursday to try to bridge a budget gap with Senate Republicans, but it could still result in the state's hospitals getting significantly less than they are receiving now.

House leaders offered to trim back spending on tax cuts and education - in order to boost spending in the state's safety net health care program. The offer, however, would be unconnected to a push by the Senate to expand Medicaid or revamp an existing program that takes federal money for hospitals.

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HNF Stories
2:50 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Selling Hard Boiled Eggs For Medicine: Tradeoffs People In The Gap Make For Health Care

Cynthia Louis in one of Florida International University's Neighborhood HELP Program parked in parking lot of the Pentecostal Tabernacle Church in Miami Gardens.
Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

 This is the third part in our series, Falling Into The Gap, in collaboration with the Miami Herald. Read more about the coverage gap and find affordable care on WLRN.org/healthgap.

Every Tuesday, a giant blue bus parks in front of the Pentecostal Tabernacle Church in Miami Gardens. Inside looks like a doctor’s office with a reclining exam chair and anatomical charts. You only know that it’s not a traditional office when it shakes as people get on and off.

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Opinion
9:33 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Letter to the Editor: LIP Fight Jeopardizes Sickest Children

Florida families may have read about a fight over Medicaid expansion in Tallahassee and how it may impact adults. Fewer have heard how the fight is jeopardizing money our state desperately needs to care for some of our sickest children.

18 month old Ana and four year old Connor McCorkle are two of the thousands of children who ended up in the middle of the battle through no fault of their own.  The children of a firefighter and a law student were born with a rare disease that affects their nerves and muscles and are treated by our neurologist, one of very few in the country.

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HNF Stories
8:44 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Scott Steps Into Health Care Funding Battle

Gov. Rick Scott
Credit Associated Press

 Gov. Rick Scott stepped into the legislative fray over health care funding Tuesday, proposing an idea for moving forward on the state budget that was quickly dismissed by the Senate.

Scott's attempt to break the impasse, which comes with less than two weeks left in the legislative session, followed separate meetings among the full Senate and House Republicans in which both sides seemed to dig in further for a protracted battle over funding for providers of medical care and a potential alternative to Medicaid expansion.

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HNF Stories
8:15 am
Tue April 21, 2015

The Health Care Gap in the Sunshine Economy

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 7:36 am

More than three-quarters of a million Floridians live in a health care gap. The gap was created by the national Affordable Care Act and Florida's rejection of an expanded Medicaid program. In between the two policies is a gap in medical insurance coverage where 850,000 Floridians find themselves.

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HNF Stories
8:44 am
Mon April 20, 2015

Scott Compares Obama Administration To Sopranos

Credit Associated Press

 Gov. Rick Scott is comparing the Obama administration to the Sopranos and accusing the president of not caring for low-income families, even as the Republican governor refuses to expand Medicaid insurance to more than 800,000 low-income families.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush, who is considering a run for president, is also weighing in, voicing support for a Senate compromise that would eventually take federal funds and give them to families to purchase private insurance.

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HNF Stories
4:01 pm
Sun April 19, 2015

As Standoff Over Healthcare Funding Continues, Some Possible Resolutions Emerge

Senate President Andy Gardiner during a press conference pushing the Senate's "FHIX" proposal--a privatized version of Medicaid expansion.

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 5:48 pm

As the fog surrounding healthcare in Florida thickens, some observers say there’s a way out of the storm…if lawmakers can ever make it there.  Here's a look at some of the possibilities for a resolution to the legislature’s healthcare funding impasse.

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HNF Stories
3:53 pm
Sun April 19, 2015

Medicaid Dispute Still Threatens On-Time Legislative Adjournment

An undated photo of the House chamber in the state capitol.

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 6:23 am

Unionized medical staff from Jackson Health System taunted Governor Rick Scott in the capitol rotunda over his opposition to expanding Medicaid.

Democratic Senator Oscar Braynon of Broward County joined them to say the governor's intransigence would have consequences.

"In theory we may lose our public hospitals, in theory people may not get health coverage, in theory people will actually die as a result of this," Braynon said.

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HNF Stories
3:48 pm
Sun April 19, 2015

Floridians Affected By The Health Coverage Gap

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 2:59 pm

Thousands of South Floridians too poor to afford health insurance on their own are going without.

These people end up in what is called the "coverage gap" because they earn too little to get help buying health insurance under Obamacare, but they don’t qualify for Medicaid.

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HNF Stories
1:34 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Crisafulli: Medicaid Expansion Not Popular 'On the Street'

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli
Credit Florida Legislature

Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli  is reiterating his opposition  "to Obamacare and Medicaid expansion" as the issue continues lurching toward a crisis in the Legislature.

The Senate supports the expansion for about 850,000 Floridians who currently qualify neither for Medicaid nor health insurance available on HealthCare.gov.

The dispute between the chambers -- and their related budget differences -- now threaten to delay the Legislature's scheduled adjournment on May 1.

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HNF Stories
8:30 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Fingerpointing Over LIP, Medicaid Expansion

Florida Medicaid Director Justin Senior
Credit Agency for Health Care Administration

Saying that "sand is running out of the hourglass," the Republican leaders of the Florida Legislature said Wednesday that it appears they will end their annual session on May 1 without reaching a deal on health care and a new state budget.

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HNF Stories
9:11 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Impasse Over Health Care Expansion Deepens

The stalemate between the House and Senate over billions of dollars in health-care funding deepened Tuesday, as the federal government suggested that the fate of a pool of money for hospitals and other medical providers was tied to the state's decision on Medicaid expansion.

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HNF Stories
9:56 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Health Care Mogul Criticizes Scott's Medicaid Stance

Mike Fernandez paid a visit to the university of South Florida St. Petersburg campus to promote his new book, "Humbled By The Journey."
Credit Daylina Miller/WUSF

Mike Fernandez's made billions building health care companies and he is not happy with the governor's stance on Medicaid expansion.

He said  Gov. Rick Scott is wrong to not want federal money that would expand health insurance to poor Floridians.

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HNF Stories
8:56 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Scott Stops Shy of Promising Medicaid Veto

Credit Associated Press

 Florida Gov. Rick Scott stopped shy of saying he would veto an expansion to Medicaid. Speaking to reporters in Orlando Tuesday, Scott said the federal government can’t be trusted to pay for Medicaid.

But when pressed, he stopped short of saying he would veto an expansion to the health insurance program for the poor.

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HNF Stories
12:27 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Scott Reverses Course, Opposes Medicaid Expansion

Gov. Rick Scott
Credit Associated Press

Gov. Rick Scott reversed course Monday, saying he no longer supports Medicaid expansion as talks break down between Florida and its request for the federal government to extend funds to hospitals that serve low-income patients.

Scott wants the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to give Florida about $1 billion in hospital funds, but the feds have been denying that request for about a year, standing firm that the funds will end June 30.

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HNF Stories
8:40 am
Mon April 6, 2015

Medicaid Expansion Would Help 200k Latinos, Advocates Say

Hispanic advocates say at least 200,000 Latinos could get health insurance if Florida lawmakers choose to expand Medicaid.

The National Council of La Raza says that many Hispanics have gained health coverage under President Obama's health law, but roughly 200,000 still fall into a gap where they make too little money to qualify for a subsidy in the federal marketplace, yet earn too much to qualify for Medicaid.

In total, health advocates estimate about 800,000 Floridians we be covered under Medicaid expansion.

Health News Florida
8:21 am
Mon April 6, 2015

Millions Spent by Health Special Interests

Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Land O Lakes
Credit Florida House of Representatives

Special interest groups interested in health care bills in Florida’s Legislature are spending millions to support state lawmakers, the Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau reports.

Various legislators and the governor’s re-election campaign received $5.6 million from a dozen different HMO plans, and hospitals have given more than $3.9 million in the election cycle, the Herald/Times reports.

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HNF Stories
7:43 pm
Sun April 5, 2015

Update: Feds Say 'We're Still Open To Talks'; Healthcare Negotiations Delayed Due To Vacation

Senate President Andy Gardiner says budget negotiations could be on hold after feds delay healthcare funding talks.

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 6:40 pm

The federal government says talks between it at the State of Florida over the future of healthcare are still on. Discord over the future of Florida's healthcare system reigns as the federal government, Florida House and Senate haggle over billions in healthcare funding. And with a month left until the state legislature adjourns, all sides are digging in on their positions.

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HNF Stories
8:28 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Group Targets Senators Supporting Medicaid

Credit MyFloridaHouse.gov

The conservative political group Americans for Prosperity is taking aim at Senate President Andy Gardiner’s Medicaid expansion plans.

The mailers were sent to voters in the districts of 23 state senators, including Senate President Andy Gardiner. Officials from Americans for Prosperity said in a statement the current plan doesn’t do enough to curb health care costs.

The group, backed by the Koch brothers, wants to expand telemedicine, eliminate government oversight of health care and allow some health care workers to do more.

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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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