Florida looks to lose more federal money set aside for Medicaid than any state that has opted out of expanding the health care program for the poor, says a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute.
Expanding Medicaid to an additional 1 million Floridians under President Barack Obama's new health law is turning into one of the biggest issues of this year's gubernatorial race.
Former Gov. Charlie Crist brings up the topic on most campaign stops and says one of the first things he'll do if elected is call a special session to expand Medicaid. His opponent, incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott, seems to be waning in his support.
Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist told the Miami Herald editorial board that he wants a special session to try and convince lawmakers to expand state-run health care coverage for low-income residents.
The Florida Medical Association surprised many this week when word came that its House of Delegates embraced a resolution calling for the legislature to expand Medicaid, the state-run program that's supposed to cover low-income people.
The money to do so, an estimated $51 billion over 10 years, had already been set aside by the federal government to begin in January this year, but the state House of Representatives refused to take it. The FMA delegates want the Legislature to change its position.
The Florida Medical Association's House of Delegates overwhelmingly adopted a resolution supporting Medicaid expansion to cover uninsured low-income adults at FMA's annual meeting on Sunday, according to doctors who were there.
(Editor's note: This story has been updated with the statement from FMA.)
The White House will release a state-by-state report Wednesday which estimates that a Medicaid expansion in Florida would generate 63,800 jobs from 2014-2017. Most of the jobs would be in health care, while providing health care to 848,000 people, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Ninety-three organizations in the state that are working in coalition under the title Health Care for Florida Now are asking Floridians to sign a petition calling for the state to accept federal funds to expand coverage to low-income adults who are in the so-called "Coverage Gap."
In 2013 the Florida House voted not to accept the $51 billion over 10 years in federal funds available for the program under the Affordable Care Act even though the Senate approved it and Gov. Rick Scott said he would sign it.
Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano tells how Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a long-time opponent of the Affordable Care Act, nevertheless has asked the federal government for ACA funds to cover his state's uninsured citizens.
Since being diagnosed with a heart condition, Mark Heath has lost his home, his boat and most of his possessions. As one of the 800,000 Floridians trapped in the state’s Medicaid gap, he told the Daytona Beach News-Journal he didn’t have the means or access to needed medical care.
In a column in the Tampa Bay Times, John Romano writes that more than a year ago, lawmakers claimed they were going to look for a solution to help low-income Floridians get health coverage after the House turned down a Senate bill to accept $51 billion in federal funds -- money made available through an alternative to Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
Florida Sen. Bill Nelson says the Florida House and not the federal government is to blame for the state's lack of Medicaid expansion.
Nelson, a Democrat, is responding to Sen. President Don Gaetz's letter last week to Sylvia Burwell, nominee for Secretary of Health & Human Services. In it, Gaetz, a Republican, said states need more authority to design their own programs for the Medicaid expansion. In Florida, that includes about 800,000 poor adults.
All session long, Florida's legislative leaders have frustrated advocates for the poor, as well as much of the business community, by declining to talk about the billions of federal dollars for Medicaid expansion that the state is forgoing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.