Click here to listen to WUSF's Steve Newborn talking with PolitiFact Florida's Josh Gillen
The quagmire in Tallahassee over health care spending forced an early end to the spring legislative session. At the heart of it is a federal program known as the Low Income Pool, or LIP. It reimburses Florida hospitals more than two billion dollars a year for providing care to low-income or indigent patients. The federal government is phasing the program out as it shifts to new programs provided by the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
Now, Gov. Scott is making the rounds in Washington D.C., trying to prod the feds to keep funding LIP. Now, Scott has backtracked from his previous position on supporting expansion of Medicaid in the state to serve low-income residents.
Scott recently spoke to reporters in the nation's capitol.
"The families that are covered through the Low Income Pool is a different group of individuals than are covered by Obamacare," Scott said.
Click on the video below to hear what he had to say about LIP and Medicaid:
This makes it sound as if the people who would qualify for Medicaid under an expansion are completely different than patients who leave hospitals with unpaid bills the LIP fund helps pay to providers. Health policy experts said that while there would still be uninsured people not paying their bills under an expansion, plenty of overlap exists between the two, especially at lower incomes.
Gov. Rick Scott is not backing down from a pair of campaign ads that state 300,000 Floridians lost their Florida Blue health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act, the Miami Herald reports. The ads attack Scott’s presumed opponent, Charlie Crist, for his support of the federal health law, and use a claim about the Floridians losing insurance that was rated “Mostly False” by PolitiFact.
The Congressional Budget Office put out a forecast this week that showed the Affordable Care Act will have a positive effect on the labor market, that it will enable 2.3 million Americans to either finally retire or cut their hours. They are no longer trapped in jobs they hate in order to keep health insurance.
This November, Florida voters will have a say on a constitutional amendment allowing the use of medical marijuana. In the meantime, truths, half-truths, and outright falsehoods have been swirling around in the news, according to the Tampa Bay Times (paywall alert).
PolitiFact checked a claim from state Sen. Maria Sachs, R-Delray Beach, who said texting has supplanted drinking as the top contributor to teen driving deaths. PolitiFact ruled this claim Mostly False because Sachs based the statistic on a study that has been misinterpreted.
According to PolitiFact, the IRS is not the main enforcer of the Affordable Care Act, as the National Republican Congressional Committee claimed in a recent video. Health policy experts note the IRS will deal with subsidies and penalties, but other agencies, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Labor, play a large role in ACA enforcement.
In a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Democratic members of Congress from Florida accuse the state of relinquishing power over health insurance rates to the federal government -- which lacks enforcement authority.
Along with two other Tea Party favorites, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio declared on Tuesday that Congress needs to kill Obamacare by taking away all funds to implement it, even if it means a government shutdown as of Sept. 30. The vote comes up shortly after Congress’ five-week recess that begins Friday and lasts through Labor Day.
A TV commercial running in Ohio and Florida, paid for by a group that spent $33 million trying to defeat President Obama's re-election in 2012, tries to discredit the Affordable Care Act as it ramps up for full implementation between Oct. 1 and Jan. 1.
The ad shows a pregnant woman worrying that under the law patients will no longer be able to pick their own doctor and that costs will rise. "What am I getting for higher premiums and a smaller paycheck?" she frets.
Now making the rounds on the Internet: a claim that the Affordable Care Act has secret wording that lets Muslims off the hook. PolitiFact rates this one so false that it merits the label "Pants on Fire."
Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford goofed in a major address the opening day of the Legislature, when he denied that Medicaid had covered his family’s medical bills for his little brother’s fatal illness. After reporters pointed out the error, he backtracked.
But Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, continues to maintain that Florida shouldn’t accept federal funds to expand Medicaid because most of those who would benefit are “able-bodied” and “childless adults,” which implies that they are less in need of government help. He uses the figure of 85 percent.
Gov. Rick Scott is willing to look at estimates on the cost of Medicaid expansion other than the ones he has been using, according to a release Tuesday evening.
The statement from Scott's Communications Director Melissa Sellers came in apparent reaction toHealth News Florida’s report early Tuesday headlined “Legislative Analysts told Scott His Medicaid Estimates Are Wrong (But He’s Using Them Anyway).”