Federal officials said Friday that they had approved Arkansas's "novel" Medicaid expansion proposal, which uses Medicaid to buy private coverage for poor people through the healthcare insurance marketplace, reports the New York Times. If that plan flew with Arkansas,which despite a Democrat governor is controlled by its Republican state legilsature, might Florida follow?
The feds allowed Arkansas to set up a hybrid coverage plan, the kind of pro-business model a Republican governor could warm up to. It uses federal Medicaid dollars to buy commercial health insurance and is expected to cover more than 200,000 people. Other states, including Iowa, Ohio and Pennsylvania, have expressed interest in similar approaches, says NYT.
"The Obama administration agreed to waive certain provisions of Medicaid law for three years to allow Arkansas to demonstrate the effectiveness of “premium assistance.
"The program will cover people ages 19 to 64 with incomes up to 133 percent of the poverty level ($15,280 for an individual).
"Under the current Arkansas program, childless adults are generally ineligible for Medicaid, and parents who have dependent children are eligible only if they have incomes less than 17 percent of the poverty level.
"Federal and state officials said the Arkansas program would allow people to stay in the same private health plan, with the same doctors, when their income fluctuates." The program also allows a higher reimbursement rate for providers than state Medicaid, which could induce more doctors to care for the poor.
No, Sen. Marco Rubio hasn't given any hint that Florida's anti-Medicaid expansion stance will change. Just sayin.' Read the story.