Posts Tagged ‘Rick Scott’

Sun-Sentinel: Get Disabled Children Out of Nursing Homes

July 29, 2013

South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial

If Pearl Buck was right, and “the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members,” Florida got a failing grade this week.

The U.S. Justice Department filed suit Monday against the state, accusing it of violating the federal Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to do enough to keep children with disabilities in Florida from being sent for care to nursing homes for the elderly. The department’s lawsuit called it “deliberate indifference to the suffering” of those children.

The head of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, Liz Dudek, called the lawsuit “disruptive” and accused Washington of wanting to take over the state’s Medicaid and disability programs. Seriously?

The Justice Department says it spent six months investigating the plight of disabled kids in Florida nursing homes before calling on the state last September to do more to give their families the option of care at home or in community-based settings. The department filed suit after concluding that it couldn’t count on the state to comply voluntarily. (more…)

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…)

BREAKING: Gov. Scott Vetoes Medicaid Home Health Rate Increases

May 20, 2013

Gov. Rick Scott today vetoed Medicaid rate increases for home health services and private duty nursing services that were included in the final budget proposed by the Florida Legislature. As we reported earlier this month at the adjournment of the annual legislative session, the $74 billion state budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year included 10% rate increases for home health services provided by an RN and LPN, and private duty nursing services provided by an LPN. The cost for the two increases would have been $213,652 and $9,384,984, respectively. We do recognize that Gov. Scott opted to keep the 322-slot expansion of the Nursing Home Diversion Waiver program.

We can only surmise why such a small but much needed increase was not granted. It shows yet still how much work has to be done to convince the powers that be of what should be obvious to all. The cost effectiveness of home care is critical to answering every health care problem that the nation and the state of Florida faces, however we cannot meet those needs unless funding is adequate. We will continue trying to help them realize what they will be forced to accept eventually, which is that health care delivered in the community and in the home is the only way to adequately address the growing health care needs of Floridians.

Quarterly Report Reform Bill Passes Florida Legislature

May 3, 2013

After two years, multiple committee stops and countless hours of advocacy in Tallahassee, HCAF is very excited to announce that the quarterly report reform bill passed the Florida House of Representatives this morning by a vote of 115-0. The bill will now be presented to Gov. Rick Scott within seven days to sign it into law, and it will go into effect on July 1, 2013.

What does this bill do for me? (more…)

Quarterly Report Bill Passes Florida Senate 34-0

April 26, 2013

With five days to go in the Florida Legislative Session, HCAF’s bill to reduce the quarterly report fine and exempt private duty providers passed the Senate this morning 34-0. The bill will be voted on in the House of Representatives next week, after which it will go to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature.

Lawmakers are now crafting the budget, so now is the time to contact them to urge their support for increasing reimbursement rates! Click here to take action!

Quarterly Report Reform Bill Clears Legislative Committees

April 18, 2013

This morning, HCAF’s quarterly report reform bill unanimously passed its final committee stop in the Florida Legislature. The bill now proceeds to the floor of the Senate and House of Representatives, its two final stops before going to Gov. Rick Scott for signature. If passed into law, the bill will reduce the quarterly report fine from $5,000 to $200 per day up to $5,000 per quarter and exempt private duty agencies.

Now is the time to get your lawmakers’ support for this critical bill! Click here to send your lawmakers an email encouraging their support.

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…)

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…)