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After rejecting Medicaid expansion, Florida may request more federal dollars

@tbtia

Months after Florida lawmakers rejected $51 billion from the federal government to expand Medicaid, state officials are prepared to request billions in new federal aid for a different program to improve care for the poor, uninsured and under-insured.

But this cash grab, for whatever reason, has yet to ignite a political furor.

State officials want to grow its Low Income Pool (LIP) program from $1 billion a year to possibly $3 billion a year, said Justin Senior, deputy secretary for Medicaid at the Agency for Health Care Administration. The additional money could be used to help hospitals cover charity care, provide premium support for low-income Floridians or expand current health care programs.

"Our feeling at the agency is that there are opportunities here to make the LIP program larger," Senior recently told lawmakers, who didn't object. "We have talked with the federal government about that, and the federal government, by and large, they seem generally receptive to the possibility of it."

Even contemplating accepting additional federal LIP dollars seems at odds with the Legislature's stone-cold rejection of additional Medicaid funding tied to health care reform. But it highlights how intertwined Tallahassee and Washington are — whether Republican lawmakers in the state Capitol like it or not.

Rep. Matt Hudson, the Naples Republican who chair's the House's health care budget committee, said it's best to keep the two discussions separate.

Read more here.

 

Comments

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LOL

Pointed this out when it was first reported...

No need for the this program with Obamacare being implemented... Everyone is or will be insured.

Legislators should just cancel this program and save whatever state money is being spent on it.

Ouch

Matt Hudson wants to keep it separate, like his wife and mistress in Tallahassee.

Why I am surprised

So instead of using Federal money to subsidize offering commercial insurance to the "not quite poor enough (or otherwise eligible) for Medicaid" population ... where those people would have access to primary care and there would be financial incentives for the plans to keep people out of expensive emergency rooms .... instead the "better idea" is to take federal dollars to make a bigger pool of money to pay just hospitals when poor people show up at the emergency room (with advanced conditions that could have been prevented or minimized with primary care.)

Brilliant !

Deborah

In response to LOL's comment: we can't sit back and assume everyone is or will be insured. I have a friend in my life who is a victim of Florida's rejection of the Medicaid funds. She is a double lung transplant recipient, who lives on about $11,000 per year. With this income she does not qualify for subsidies for her insurance premiums that have increased from $250 to $600 in the new insurance market in Florida. She also makes too much for Medicaid. Her friends gathered a large fund of money to pay her deductible and copay for her surgery, supported her through her surgery and many trips to doctor visits. Her surgery is a success! Her kids still have a mother. But now this. Certain state governors have sabotaged the plan to assist those needing Medicaid insurance in order to make our President's plan fail. By the way, people seem to forget the original model for this plan was Romney's: keeping insurance in a competitive market place, yet helping the less fortunate among us with health care coverage with subsidies from government.

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