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Lawmakers Fight Over Dental Bill

Florida’s “Prepaid Dental Health Plan,” which contracts with the state to treat  children on Medicaid, was supposed to die with the turnover of Medicaid to managed care plans statewide next year. But it may survive the overhaul with help from some powerful lawmakers, the Florida Times-Union reports. 

HB 27 was introduced by state Rep. Jose Diaz, R-Miami, who has a seat on the House Appropriations Subcommittee. That’s the panel that writes the budget for the Agency for Health Care Administration, which is carrying out the statewide managed-care switch.

Two companies that contract with AHCA to carry out the dental plan were paid more than $100 million in the first six months of this year, the newspaper reported.

On Sept. 11 a tweet went out from AHCA’s official Twitter account that included a link to a story that supported keeping the dental carve-out, the Times-Union reports. But it was quickly deleted at the request of Jenn Ungru, AHCA’s chief of staff. AHCA’s next public comment was one that supports keeping dental in the managed-care contracts because of its savings to taxpayers.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.