Health Care Expansion Requirements Could Limit Enrollment | Print |  E-mail
June 2015

When the legislature convenes in special session June 1, it will consider various proposals to provide health-care coverage to Floridians in households earning less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level who are not eligible for Medicaid. 

Legislative analysts estimate that 800,000 uninsured Floridians could gain health-care coverage under such proposals. 

But policymakers, in designing their new plan, should consider two facts: (1) work requirements will be difficult or impossible to meet for many intended enrollees; and (2) for workers at or below the poverty level, even modest premium payments and co-pays would further strain already tight household budgets.

Some proposals discussed contain requirements of applicants for health-care coverage that could limit the number of Floridians who would be insured. For example, evidence of employment, job training or additional education would be difficult to meet for many of the currently uninsured. 

>Read the report.

 
Measured Growth in the Medicaid Budget and of Managed Care Plan Payment Rates Will Constrain Costs of Medicaid Expansion | Print |  E-mail
June 2015

In the most recent round of debate by the Florida Legislature over whether or not to extend coverage to hundreds of thousands of the lowest-income Floridians though the Medicaid program (or an alternative that meets the requirements of the Affordable Care Act), opponents invoked many familiar and long-debunked arguments. 

Perhaps the oldest and most often cited of these claims is the assertion that the current Medicaid program is "spiraling out of control" and "swallowing the state budget."  But expansion would reduce state general revenue spending for Medicaid in the short term and the primary components of future spending growth appear poised to remain well-constrained over time as well. 

Examination of the spending picture makes it clear that not only is Medicaid a manageable and sustainable component of the state budget, expansion as called for in the Affordable Care Act would do nothing to alter that reality.

 

>Read the report.

 
Health Care Expansion Problems Cited by Leaders Are of Their Own Making or Already Addressed | Print |  E-mail
June 2015

For the past several years, leadership in the Florida House of Representatives has repeatedly rejected the opportunity to extend health coverage to non-elderly, uninsured adults with family incomes up to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level through Medicaid or an alternative as provided under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

In attempting to justify its refusal, Florida House leaders in particular have ignored or selectively interpreted almost every relevant fact pertaining to expansion and its implications for Florida. 

Many of the problems they identify as primary exist as a direct result of or have already been addressed as a result of deliberate choices made by the legislature. The fact that these conscious decisions have created or addressed many of the issues cited as impediments to expansion serves to directly discredit opponents' arguments.

>Read the report.   

 
A Chronology of Key Events: Medicaid Managed Care, the Low Income Pool and Medicaid Expansion | Print |  E-mail
April 2015

Review of a timeline of actions taken by Florida's legislative leadership and governors over the past decade on Medicaid reveals how state leaders have inconsistently and selectively used information to simultaneously embrace and undermine the program (and the flexibility/funding provided at the federal level).

 A chronology of actions from 2005 to the present sheds light on the current legislative impasse and the refusal of the House of Representatives to consider the Senate proposal to create the Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange program (FHIX). 

>Read the report.

 
Big Tax Cuts May Pass Legislature | Print |  E-mail
April 2015

At the midpoint of the legislative session, the Florida Senate and the House of Representatives are stalemated over the issue of health care expansion under the Affordable Care Act and funding for the Low Income Pool (LIP).

Under current law the funding associated with the LIP will expire on July 1, 2015, leaving a $2 billion hole in the budget.  

One tax cut, on telephone and cable services, would be a $471 million hit to the state's revenue stream, but would have only a slight impact on individual Floridians and families -- an estimated annual savings of $40 per person and $160 per family.

The size of the proposed $471 million cut is put in context when compared to funding amounts for vital state programs. For example, it is larger than the total budget of the Voluntary Prekindergarten Program.  And it is 75 times larger than the proposed general revenue increase for Alzheimer's respite services for 167 seniors  and funding for an additional 406 seniors in the Community Care for the Elderly program.

The needs of the state suggest that now is not the time to pass $600 million to $800 million in tax cuts. 

>Read the report. 

 
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