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Florida Roundup: residents dropped from Medicaid; support for gender-affirming care


Guests discuss Floridians who have lost their Medicaid coverage and a federal court blocking the state's ban on Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming care.

Hundreds of thousands of Floridians have lost their Medicaid coverage since April. That’s when a federal mandate that prohibited states from dropping anyone from Medicaid rolls expired.

This protection, which was established at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, also kept people continuously enrolled in the federal insurance program without reapplying.

On "The Florida Roundup," we talk with two Florida-based health care reporters to find out why the state leads the nation in disenrollments.

  • Verónica Zaragovia, health care reporter for WLRN. 
  • Daniel Chang, correspondent for KFF Health News covering Florida and the South. 

Then, a conversation on Florida’s Medicaid restriction for gender-affirming care, which were recently halted by a federal judge.

The ruling comes just two weeks after the same U.S. district judge issued a preliminary injunction on Florida’s law prohibiting such care for minors.

And there’s a growing list of court rulings that have struck down or blocked similar bans or restrictions in other states like Indiana and Arkansas.

The guests are:

  • Gary Fineout, reporter with Politico. 
  • Kathryn Varn, Tampa Bay correspondent for Axios. 

Finally, Gov. Ron DeSantis has boasted record environmental spending in the recently signed state budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year. That includes $850 million for the wildlife corridors in the state and $100 million in recurring funding for the Florida Forever land protection program.

But the governor vetoed $100 million from another conservation program aimed at keeping swaths of rural lands from being developed.

We take a look at how the state plans to protect its environmentally sensitive lands with:

  • Steve Newborn, reporter for WUSF Public Media and Health News Florida.

Copyright 2023 WJCT News 89.9. To see more, visit WJCT News 89.9.

Bridget O'Brien produces WLRN's The Florida Roundup as well as morning newscasts. A long-time public radio geek, she feels that audio journalism can take a story beyond text and allows listeners to truly connect through the power of voice. With a background in drama, she brings a theatrical element to everything she does.