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Advocates Say Medicaid Expansion More Important Than Ever


Advocates for expanding Medicaid are saying the stakes have never been higher, especially in Hillsborough County.

The county’s share of federal and state dollars for hospitals that treat large numbers of low-income patients was cut by two-thirds in 2015 to 52 million dollars.

Charlotte Cassel is co-author of the repot by Florida Legal Services. She says Hillsborough County could erase any losses and gain a whole lot more funding if Florida expanded Medicaid.

"Hillsborough County is estimated to lose about $388 million over the next five years but that number really pales in comparison to the almost $2 billion that would come into the county in funding were accepted to expand coverage," Cassel said.   

If the state chooses not to expand Medicaid coverage, it could lose even more funding next year as the federal government pushes to insure more low-income patients rather than paying hospitals to treat them.