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.
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.
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.
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.