Medicaid expansion

HNF Stories
9:17 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Scott's Hospital Commission to Meet

Gov. Rick Scott's hospital commission will meet for the first time today.
Credit WMFE

Florida Governor Rick Scott’s commission investigating hospital finances will meet for the first time today. The meetings come as Florida’s legislature preps for a special session.

Health care spending has been the big division in Florida’s budget thanks to a billion-dollar hospital fund that’s ending. Federal officials want Florida to expand Medicaid to cover Florida’s uninsured, and hospitals have been pushing for expansions.

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Health News Florida
7:50 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Hospitals To Scott: Look Up Financial Data

As Gov. Rick Scott's newly created health care commission prepares to meet today to begin sifting through data about hospital funding, the governor's request for information has been met with hospitals essentially telling him to go look it up.
 

Many of the dozens of surveys returned by hospitals have five or fewer of the roughly 100 lines filled out with new information. Officials frequently referred Scott back to information filed with the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, which oversees much of the state's spending on health care.

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HNF Stories
8:49 am
Mon May 18, 2015

New Session to Tackle Budget, Health Care

Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon
Credit Florida Senate

Florida’s top legislative leaders on Friday made their June special session official and came up with a long list of items they want to try to tackle during their 20-day return to the state Capitol.

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner have agreed to pass a new state budget while at the same time debate legislation covering health care, Medicaid and even tax cuts and environmental policy.

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HNF Stories
8:16 am
Thu May 14, 2015

Budget Bosses Talking Health Care Deal

Sen. Tom Lee.
Credit The Florida Senate

Two top Florida legislators today spent hours meeting behind closed doors in a last-minute push to reach a deal on health care and a new state budget.

Although no deal was reached, Sen. Tom Lee, a Brandon Republican, said that a “fair amount of progress” was made during the discussions between the House and Senate budget chiefs at the Capitol.

“It was super productive,” said Rep. Richard Corcoran, a Land O’ Lakes Republican. “I think today we moved the ball down the field tremendously. We are moving to resolution.”

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HNF Stories
8:57 am
Wed May 13, 2015

A Closer Look At Hospital Commission Appointees

Tom Kuntz

A former SunTrust CEO from Winter Park has been appointed to a committee to investigate hospitals. Tom Kuntz is one of nine members on a panel investigating hospital finances.

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HNF Stories
8:53 am
Wed May 13, 2015

Scott Takes Funding Fight Back to D.C.

Credit Associated Press

Just days after flying to Washington in hopes of convincing the Obama administration to extend federal hospital funds, Gov. Rick Scott was back in the nation's capital Tuesday slamming federal health officials for denying his request.

The administration wants the Florida governor to expand Medicaid to more than 800,000 Floridians, which it says is a more efficient use of federal funds than paying hospitals retroactively for caring for the uninsured.

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HNF Stories
8:36 am
Wed May 13, 2015

Congressional Hearing Planned On LIP Showdown

Credit Politico

A congressional committee will hold a hearing on Gov. Rick Scott's showdown with the federal government over health care funding, but that meeting could come too late to help close a potential $2.2 billion hole in the state budget.

Scott announced Tuesday that U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., will have the House Energy & Commerce Committee look into the governor's allegations that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is trying to illegally coerce the state into accepting Medicaid expansion.

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HNF Stories
3:43 am
Tue May 12, 2015

State Legislatures Quarrel Over Whether To Expand Medicaid

Alaskans attend a rally in Anchorage for Medicaid expansion.
Jonathan Casurella/Alaska Public Media

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 9:22 pm

Five years after the Affordable Care Act passed, the law's provision allowing the expansion of Medicaid coverage to more people is still causing huge fights in state legislatures.

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HNF Stories
8:39 am
Mon May 11, 2015

FL Budget Snarled As Governor Challenges Obamacare

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a longtime opponent of "Obamacare," made a startling announcement shortly after his mother's death, going on TV two years ago to explain that he had dropped his objections to President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

The Republican governor, a former hospital executive who entered politics running TV ads against the Affordable Care Act, said then in 2013 that his mother's death had changed his perspective, and that he could no longer "in good conscience" oppose expanding health care coverage to nearly 1 million Floridians.

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HNF Stories
8:34 am
Mon May 11, 2015

Scott Wants Hospitals To Spread The Wealth

Credit Florida Office of the Governor

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, contending that the state will likely lose federal money it is now receiving to help hospitals, is calling on any hospital that receives taxpayer support to share profits to help each other.

Scott, a former health care executive before he sought public office, sent out a letter on Friday to hospital executives across the state asking them to help draw up the plan.

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HNF Stories
6:40 pm
Sun May 10, 2015

In Legislative Graveyard, Medicaid Expansion Still Clings To Life

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

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 3:53 pm

The legislative graveyard is littered with dead bills, but some issues are too stubborn to go down without a fight. One of them is Medicaid Expansion. It’s is down, but some lawmakers and healthcare advocates are hoping to get it to move from the zombie column, into the land of the living.  A lawsuit, coupled with the fate of Florida’s budget—may depend on it.

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HNF Stories
9:01 am
Thu May 7, 2015

States Watching Standoff Between FL, Obama

Credit U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The Obama administration rebuffed Florida's Gov. Rick Scott's proposal to extend federal funds for hospitals that treat the uninsured, increasing the pressure on states that have refused to expand coverage for low-income people under the president's health care law.

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HNF Stories
8:52 am
Thu May 7, 2015

Scott Leaves D.C. Meeting Empty-Handed

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Florida Gov. Rick Scott
Credit Associated Press

Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s high-stakes visit to Washington Wednesday to persuade the Obama administration to keep the federal government’s $1 billion in annual funding for hospital care of the poor produced no breakthrough.

“We had a good conversation … but we don’t have a resolution,” the Republican governor told reporters after an hour-long meeting with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell.

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HNF Stories
10:57 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Scott Heads To Washington To Talk LIP Funding

Credit Associated Press

Setting off for Washington, D.C., to meet with federal officials over health-care money at the heart of a state budget crisis, Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday flatly ruled out a Senate plan to extend private insurance coverage to hundreds of thousands of lower-income Floridians.

Scott, who once supported Medicaid expansion, said last month that he now opposes a Senate proposal to use expansion dollars for the private insurance plan. But his remarks to reporters on what he would tell federal officials about the Senate initiative marked his strongest rejection yet.

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HNF Stories
8:44 am
Mon May 4, 2015

FL Lawmakers Push Bills Tied To Their Private Jobs

Credit MyFloridaHouse.gov

During the recently-concluded legislative session, Senate President Andy Gardiner constantly warned about the threat to the state's hospitals if they were to lose more than $1 billion that now comes from the federal government.

There's a good reason Gardiner understands hospitals: he works for one.

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HNF Stories
8:43 am
Mon May 4, 2015

While Lawmakers Feud, Scott Visits Ferris Wheel, Wawa

Credit Associated Press

When it became clear that the House and Senate wouldn’t agree on a budget, Republican Gov. Rick Scott was in California trying to get shipping companies to move to Florida.

And when the Legislature was at the point of no return to either pass a budget or go home without completing the one task it’s legally required to do each year, Scott was at a Wawa gas station opening in Fort Myers.

When the Senate threatened Wednesday to bring legal action against the House for adjourning three days early with more work to be done, Scott was visiting a giant Ferris wheel in Orlando.

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Health News Florida
8:49 am
Thu April 30, 2015

Citizens Weigh In On Low Income Pool

Justin Senior, deputy secretary for Medicaid for the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, spoke in Orlando today.
Credit WMFE / WMFE

Florida officials have a new proposal to try and keep $2.2 billion federal health fund for the uninsured.

The Low Income Pool, or LIP, reimburses hospitals for the care of uninsured patients. The new plan would reimburse based on the quality of care.

The Agency for Health Care Administration took public comment for the first time Wednesday. Poinciana retiree Jim Guth said he supports the program, but doesn’t like the strings attached to federal dollars.

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HNF Stories
5:47 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

House Packet on Medicaid Called Misleading

House Appropriations Chairman Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes
Credit AP

Florida House leaders, who for three years have rejected federal funds to expand health coverage to the poor, brought the legislative session to an early halt Tuesday because of their rock-solid belief that “Medicaid is broken.”

This strongly held position is not new.  It developed in the past when doctors shunned Medicaid because of low pay rates. Even as Medicaid has been transformed and turned over to the private sector, the attitude has persisted and intensified among groups opposed to the Affordable Care Act and all its parts, including Medicaid expansion.

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HNF Stories
8:49 am
Wed April 29, 2015

Statewide Hearings on LIP Start In Orlando

Florida Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Elizabeth Dudek
Credit Agency for Health Care Administration

For the first time today, the public will get to weigh in on what to do with a federal program for the uninsured that’s created gridlock in Tallahassee. The Wednesday meeting in Orlando kicks off a series of statewide hearings on the Low Income Pool, or LIP.

LIP is a $2.2 billion dollar fund that mostly reimburses hospitals for treating Floridians without health insurance. It expires this summer, and federal officials aren’t inclined to extend it, saying instead the state should expand Medicaid to an additional 800,000 Floridians.

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HNF Stories
8:26 am
Wed April 29, 2015

Scott Files Lawsuit Over Medicaid Expansion

Governor Rick Scott
Credit Associated Press

Florida Gov. Rick Scott sued the Obama administration Tuesday, charging that federal officials are coercing the state to expand Medicaid in order to get $1 billion in federal hospital funds.

The Republican governor points to a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision saying the federal government can't coerce states to expand Medicaid, which is exactly what he says the Obama administration is doing by withholding hospital funds.

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HNF Stories
3:49 pm
Tue April 28, 2015

Tenn., Kansas Added to Medicaid Warning

Vikki Wachino, Director, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services
Credit Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Tennessee and Kansas joined Florida in the list of states warned by the Obama administration that failing to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act could jeopardize special funding to pay hospitals and doctors for treating the poor.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services confirmed Tuesday it gave officials in those states the same message that had been delivered to Florida and Texas about the risk to funding for so-called “Low-Income Pool” — Medicaid money that helps pay hospitals and practitioners for the cost of caring for the uninsured.

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HNF Stories
7:59 am
Tue April 28, 2015

The Budget Battle In The Sunshine Economy

Florida's regular legislative session is due to end May 1. Lawmakers are not expected to have agreed to a new budget by then. They have until July 1 to come to a compromise.

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 7:20 am

  Two big financial questions remain unanswered as the state Legislature enters its last days of the 2015 regular session – how will Florida's government spend money on health care and the environment?

Billions of dollars are on the line.

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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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