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Mike Haridopolos: plug disability agency deficit, keep SunPass discount

Tis the time of the session, mid way, when the presiding officers like Senate President Mike Haridopolos start weighing in and acting like Santa Claus when they rescue programs or help taxpayers. Two issues cropped up today:

The decision to mirror House language and fill a $174 million current year budget deficit in the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, and Haridopolos' announcement that the Senate wouldn't wipe out the discount on prepaid tolls for those who purchase SunPass cards.

On APD: "I’m very sensitive to this. The developmentally disabled population we don’t even have them as part of our Medicaid reform….. I think you’ll find those APD adjustments are necessary and that we’re going to move toward that direction. We want to make sure – the legalities of it… we want to reduce that gap as much as possible because I would consider those folks -- if not the most vulnerable -- one of the most vulnerable groups in the state."

On SunPass: “In looking at the situation and talking with members over the past 12 hours or so…. I have let it be known we will not be adjusting those. The discounts will stay in place. And we think that, especially as you commute across the state of Florida, the best thing to do is keep those discounts in place. If nothing else, people may recognize that they’re actually getting a discount when they purchase a SunPass. I think it’s to their benefit as well -- saving time, of course, and money as well.”

 

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Sharon White

FYI, This is good information for you to consider

From the Desk of Suzanne Sewell
April 4, 2011

Florida ARF Response to Provider Rate Cuts
"On March 31, 2011, the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) filed Emergency Rules to cut DD Medicaid Waiver provider reimbursement rates for 90 days. The emergency rules implement a plan developed by AHCA and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) in response to a projected $170 million APD deficit. While the rate reductions are expected to reduce state General Revenue expenditures by $16.3 million over a 90 day period, they will result in the loss of another $30 million dollars in federal Medicaid funding. The reductions were effective April 1, 2011.
Background
The APD deficit is not a recent event. Our analysis shows it is primarily attributable to APD's FY 05-06 decision to add 5,000 individuals to the waiver late in the year without adequate funding to support the annualized cost of services. The legislature provided temporary relief, particularly in FY 07-08 with non-recurring funds, but funding levels have declined and simply do not cover the cost of care for all of the 31,000 enrollees. Current funding for the DD waivers is at $805 million and is only slightly higher than it was at the beginning of FY 05-06; yet, about 5,000 more individuals are being served at an average annual cost of $30,000, thereby creating a $150 million funding gap."

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