Posts Tagged ‘Medicaid expansion’

Tampa Bay Times: One Month Later, Florida Lawmakers No Closer to Medicaid Deal

June 17, 2013

By Tia Mitchell, Tampa Bay Times

TALLAHASSEE — Two House Republicans unwittingly revived hopes this month that lawmakers could compromise on a proposal to expand Medicaid.

“Lawmakers say Medicaid expansion not dead” read the headline in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune,highlighting comments from Manatee County Reps. Greg Steube and Jim Boyd.

But the reality is no different today than it was when the legislative session ended last month:

Medicaid expansion, or some alternative, remains a long shot.

“All I was simply trying to say was, we all agree it’s an important issue,” Boyd told the Times/Herald about his remarks at a June 6 luncheon. “We thought we had a pretty good plan.”

That plan, championed by House Speaker Will Weatherford, included saying no to $51 billion in federal money over 10 years. Instead, House Republicans proposed using up to $300 million in state funding to subsidize basic coverages for about 130,000 people. (more…)

Feds Like Florida’s Medicaid Expansion Plan

April 1, 2013

By , Health News Florida

In the Friday afternoon rush, those who are tracking the debate on Florida Medicaid expansion may have missed three important events: (more…)

Legislators Look to Private Insurers to Expand Medicaid

March 21, 2013

By Kathleen Haughney and William E. Gibson, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

TALLAHASSEE – A panel of Florida lawmakers today is taking up a privatized alternative to Medicaid expansion that could result in as many as one million low-income Floridians qualifying for the first time for subsidized health-care coverage.

The plan, nicknamed “Negron-care” for its Senate sponsor, Joe Negron, R-Stuart, is the Legislature’s first attempt under the Affordable Care Act to look at a way to insure people who are poor, but not poor enough to qualify for existing Medicaid coverage.

“I’m optimistic we’re going to get it done,” Negron said.

But there are still a lot of unanswered questions about Negron’s plan, including whether the House – and the federal government – will agree to it.

We look at what’s in the plan, how it impacts you, your health care and your tax dollars. (more…)

Tampa Mom Brings Medicaid’s Importance Home

March 21, 2013

Medicaid ReformBy Dave Heller, Sunshine State News

Alysia Peddy, a mother from Tampa, is making her voice heard in the debate over Medicaid at the state Capitol.

Peddy considers her family’s medical situation a prime example of why Medicaid is working and should be expanded in Florida.

Her 9-year-old son Pierce requires between 15 and 20 hours of nursing care a day because of a traumatic brain injury.

The family has private insurance. It costs $2,200 a month, but because Pierce’s care is so extensive, and expensive, the private insurance covers only a fraction of the expenses. (more…)

Legislature’s Refusal to Expand Medicaid May Cost Employers $1 Billion

March 15, 2013

By Alex Wayne, Bloomberg News

Governors who refuse to expand their Medicaid programs for the poor may cost employers in their states as much as $1.3 billion in federal fines, a study found.

A clause in the 2010 health-care overhaul penalizes some employers when their workers aren’t able to obtain affordable medical coverage through the company. Employers can avoid those fees if their workers qualify for Medicaid as part of an expansion that as many as 22 states have rejected, according to a report today by Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.

Without Medicaid, a “shared responsibility” payment of as much as $3,000 may be triggered for each employee who can’t get insurance through their company. In Texas, the largest state to refuse to increase Medicaid, employers may be liable for as much as $448 million in fines, the study found. In Florida, where the legislature has refused an expansion supported by Governor Rick Scott, employers may pay as much as $219 million. (more…)

Feds to FL: We’re Flexible; Show Us Your Plan

March 14, 2013

By , Health News Florida

Medicaid expansion for 1 million low-income adults in Florida may technically be dead, after committees in both the House and Senate voted to kill it. And yet, chances for an alternative plan that would accomplish the same goals are looking up.

On Wednesday, federal health officials signaled interest in seeing Florida’s alternative plan, which is still just a gleam in the eye of a powerful state senator, as soon as the state has something in writing.

And a report on how much it would cost the state to offer coverage to private plans to the newly insured estimated that it would cost 3 percent to 4 percent less than for the current Medicaid population.

Even House Speaker Will Weatherford, a vocal opponent of Medicaid expansion, moderated his tone somewhat in speaking to reporters this week. (more…)

Florida Senate Panel Rejects Medicaid Expansion

March 14, 2013

From The Associated Press

A Florida Senate committee voted Monday against expanding Medicaid to roughly 1 million of the state’s poorest under the federal health overhaul and instead proposed a voucher plan that would require patients to pay premiums and co-pays.

“This will be the beginning of a transformation of the entire Medicaid system,” committee Chairman Sen. Joe Negron said. “My goal is that we will get out of the federal Medicaid system as we know it. Now, we can’t do that all at once, but we have an opportunity to begin that process.” (more…)

Gov. Scott Announces Support for Medicaid Expansion

February 22, 2013

By Carol Gentry, Health News Florida

Hospitals, consumer groups and Democrats celebrated Thursday as they recovered from shock over Gov. Rick Scott’s change of heart on Medicaid expansion.

Tea Party leaders tweeted moans about betrayal.

Legislators reminded Scott it’s not over yet.

And Medicaid HMO companies – especially WellCare Health Plans Inc. – started looking very good to investors. Stifel analyst Tom Carroll sent a note titled “Lightning Strikes in Florida,” saying Florida’s move may influence other red states, with Texas as the most-sought-after plum. It has an estimated 11 percent of the group of would-be Medicaid eligibles; Florida has 6 percent. (more…)

Gov. Scott Wants to Talk Health Care with Obama

December 12, 2012

Gov. Rick Scott and other Republican governors want to meet with President Barack Obama to discuss the federal health law, including ways to expand Medicaid and set up online health exchanges that are more affordable for states.

The request comes after the Obama administration said Monday that if states do a partial Medicaid expansion the federal government won’t pick up 100 percent of the costs for the first three years. Scott told reporters Tuesday he was disappointed in the decision. He said he recently sent a letter along with several other Republican governors requesting a meeting with Obama. (more…)

Feds Say No to Partial Medicaid Expansion

December 11, 2012

health-care-reform2Source: The News Service of Florida

TALLAHASSEE – Florida and other states will have to fully expand Medicaid eligibility if they want to tap into billions of dollars in extra money under the federal Affordable Care Act, Obama administration officials said Monday. (more…)