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Citizens Weigh In On Low Income Pool

Justin-Senior.jpg
WMFE
/
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Florida officials have a new proposal to try and keep $2.2 billion federal health fund for the uninsured.

The Low Income Pool, or LIP, reimburses hospitals for the care of uninsured patients. The new plan would reimburse based on the quality of care.

The Agency for Health Care Administration took public comment for the first time Wednesday. Poinciana retiree Jim Guth said he supports the program, but doesn’t like the strings attached to federal dollars.

And he doesn’t think Florida legislative leaders will broker a deal on Medicaid, the state/federal health program for the poor.

“So I think you need to look at a Plan B,” Guth said. “And maybe that is that Florida needs to take over the whole funding. It’s a possibility. There’s probably a Plan C or Plan D out there, someplace.”

Vonda Sexton with Nemours Children’s Hospital said without the LIP program, some highly specialized pediatric programs could be cut.

“If the LIP program is not renewed or replaced prior to July 1, Nemours Children’s Hospital will be forced to cut $10 million from our budget,” Sexton said. “And there’s no way to do this without creating significant hardship for Florida families. Families who are already struggling.”

The Florida House adjourned unexpectedly this week, unable to resolve health care issues like the LIP fund and Medicaid expansion. Public hearings continue today in Miami and then in Tallahassee.

Abe Aboraya is a reporter with WMFE in Orlando. Health News Florida receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.