Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Ryan K. Morris/Florida CHAIN

Re: Feds Approve $2.2B for Hospitals, Med Schools

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.

Carol Gentry / WUSF

Al Lopez Park in Tampa is normally an oasis of serenity on a Monday. But on the last day of open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the community center was crowded, noisy and stressful. Hundreds of procrastinators came seeking help from navigators.

It was a microcosm of the nation, as 3 million Americans visited the HealthCare.gov website and another 1 million used the call-center line on the last official day to sign up for a 2014 health plan.

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.

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.

State Impact, NPR

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.

Most of the enrollment advisors who will be available to help Florida's uninsured enroll in a health plan through the federal Marketplace will apparently not be covered by Florida's licensure law.

Mary Agnes Carey of Kaiser Health News appeared on PBS Newshour on Wednesday to explain the options for young adults opening up through the Affordable Care Act. (video)

If you don't feel like watching a video, here's an FAQ for young adults from NPR.

In his latest column at Our Health Policy Matters, consultant Paul Gionfriddo pokes fun at the hypocrisy of Florida and other officials who are fanning fears of "navigators" -- enrollment advisors for the federal online Marketplace opening Oct. 1 under the Affordable Care Act.

Continuing the split in the GOP,  some in Congress want to take an action that would quadruple the cost of health insurance for themselves, their colleagues and all the employees who work in the Capitol. And some Floridians are in the thick of it.

On June 22, consumer-health groups across the nation will launch what they hope will be a massive education and enrollment campaign to find uninsured people and get them ready to sign up for health coverage.

The health-care system was already complex enough, and it's getting more confusing as the main portions of the Affordable Care Act  are about to go into effect Jan. 1.  This is the time when con men can take advantage of the confusion, particularly targeting senior citizens.

Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell says Rick Scott would be smart to summon lawmakers back to Tallahassee for a special session on Medicaid expansion. There are moral, logical and financial arguments for doing it, he says, but most important to a public official facing re-election, there is a political argument for it, as well.

AP

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio says he will vote to keep the federal government in operation for the rest of this fiscal year only if the bill contains language to remove funding from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Kaiser Health News reports that Rubio is the latest Republican to say he supports a House bill that funds continuing operations of government, minus those for implementation of what some opponents call "ObamaCare."

State budget forecasters say the 10-year cost to Florida of implementing the Affordable Care Act will be $5.2 billion if the state expands Medicaid to about 1 million of the uninsured, and $1.7 billion if it does not, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Wollschlaeger: Guns and the Affordable Care Act

Jan 8, 2013

The tragedy of the  horrific shooting in Newtown Connecticut gradually faded from the daily news. Sadly, this shooting will be followed by another one and we will continue to seek answers to why it happened and what we could have done to prevent another massacre. 

In my opinion we have to recognize that the National Rifle Association (NRA) tentacles of influence have penetrated all aspects of our lives.

Associated Press

The state’s chief economist has warned the staff of Gov. Rick Scott that his Medicaid cost estimates are wrong, but Scott keeps using them anyway, according to e-mails obtained by Health News Florida  (Update: Scott to Look at Other Estimates).

Scott says he opposes expanding Florida Medicaid because it would cost too much: $63 billion over 10 years, he says, with the state paying $26 billion of that.

healthcare.gov

Florida is one of five states that pay primary-care doctors so little for treating Medicaid patients that those doctors will get a raise of more than 100 percent when a federal subsidy kicks in on Jan. 1, according to a new study.

The raise, which brings Medicaid pay up to the level of Medicare for two years, is part of the  Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The idea is to lure more doctors into primary care and make it worth their while to care for those insured by Medicaid, the joint state and federal program for the very poor.