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Florida Safety Net Hospital Group Supports Senate Budget Proposal

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Tampa General Hospital
The Florida Channel
The Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida supports the Senate budget proposal, which would bring in just over $21 million for hospitals in the Tampa Bay area.

The Florida Senate is proposing $75 million for children's programs at hospitals that serve the poor.

The Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida supports the proposal, which would bring in just over $21 million for facilities in the Tampa Bay area.

In recent years, Florida hospitals have depended on the low-income pool fund, also known as “LIP,” to help treat low-income and uninsured patients.

With the arrival of the Affordable Care Act, the federal government stopped funding the pool, encouraging states to expand Medicaid instead.

Florida chose not to expand Medicaid and Gov. Rick Scott sued the federal government. The compromise was a gradual phase out of LIP funding. 

The issue also brought the 2015 Legislative session to a halt.

Jim Burkhart, CEO of Tampa General Hospital,” was in Tallahassee this week with other members of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida to show their support for the Senate proposal.

"We think this is a good way to put some money towards where it's intended, which is those that are in the most need and I think that we would all agree that in our state, we'd want children and neonates (infants) to be a priority,” Burkhart said.

The measure is how heading into a House-Senate conference committee.

The Senate version of the 2016-17 budget is nearly $81 billion, roughly $1 billion larger than the House proposal.

--Daylina Miller is a reporter with WUSF in Tampa. WUSF is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Daylina Miller is a multimedia reporter for WUSF and Health News Florida, covering health in the Tampa Bay area and across the state.