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!”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
State Sen. Joe Negron, R-Negron, said he doesn’t expect there to be any movement on the issue of Medicaid expansion during the upcoming session, the Florida Current reports. Negron, who chairs the Senate Appropriations committee, tried last session to pass a private-sector version of Medicaid expansion that accepted federal money to cover the low-income uninsured.
Consumer groups, hospitals and insurers are clamoring for Florida to take the $51 billion in federal funds that have been offered to the state over the next decade to provide health coverage to the working poor. But those who are tuned in politically -- even those who desperately want it to happen -- say it’s very unlikely in 2014.
From one end of Florida to the other, calls for Florida House leaders to accept $51 billion in Affordable Care Act funds to expand Medicaid to cover the state's low-income uninsured were renewed on Wednesday. Even Gov. Scott started flirting with Obamacare again. But the man who said no to the money before -- House Speaker Will Weatherford -- is still saying no.
State Rep. Mark Pafford, the incoming leader of Florida House Democrats, says he will continue to press the issue of Medicaid expansion during the upcoming legislative session, the Florida Current reports. Republicans in the Florida House blocked Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act during the 2013 session.
Columnist Wayne Ezell of the Florida Times-Union excoriates the Florida House Speaker for placing politics -- opposition to anything President Obama supports -- above the health and safety of hundreds of thousands of the poorest Floridians.
President Obama, who is coming to Miami late today for fundraising, publicly apologized Thursday for over-promising on the Affordable Care Act in the past. He had assured Americans they wouldn’t lose their health insurance policies -- true for most people, but it turned out to be wrong for 5 to 8 percent of the population, those who buy plans in the individual market.
A majority of physicians who responded to a Florida Medical Association survey this month said they support expanding the Medicaid program to cover more indigent and working-poor adults, FMA reported Tuesday.
But that's not the group's number-one goal for the coming legislative session, so it's unclear whether FMA will lobby for it.
Months after Florida House Republican leaders rejected federal money to expand health coverage for the low-income uninsured, a state agency will ask them to request money under a different Medicaid bucket to give to hospitals for charity care.
This bucket, called the “Low Income Pool,” would be expanded from $1.4 billion a year to about $3 billion under the Agency for Health Care Administration’s proposal.
The strange result of the Florida House's decision not to expand Medicaid is that there are 763,890 Floridians whose incomes are too low to receive subsidized health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Pasco County is heavily Republican, judging by the party of almost all its officeholders and the fact that it went for Mitt Romney by 7 points. But in today's election a Democrat has at least a decent chance of winning the state House District 36 seat being vacated by Republican Mike Fasano.
Fasano was appointed as tax collector when the man who held that office died, leaving his seat up for grabs in a special election. (Editor's note: An incorrect office was listed in an earlier version.)
John Petrila, professor at University of South Florida's College of Public Health, writes in a column published by the Tampa Tribune that there is a very good reason why the Florida Chamber of Commerce and other groups are asking the Florida Legislature to accept the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
The Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford and his GOP colleagues refused to accept billions of dollars in federal funds to cover 1 million poor uninsured adults in the state because the money was technically referred to as Medicaid expansion and they insisted Medicaid is "broken." They said it so often that it must have been on a talking-points memo.
But that refrain ignores some important facts, according to Gary Stein of Tampa, a retired public-health professional turned consumer advocate. He asks: If Medicaid is broken, then who broke it?