Medicaid

Abe Aboraya / WMFE

Florida Gov. Rick Scott stopped shy of saying he would veto an expansion to Medicaid.

Speaking to reporters in Orlando this week, Scott said the federal government can’t be trusted to pay for Medicaid.

But when pressed, he stopped short of saying he would veto an expansion to the health insurance program for the poor.

Gort Productions

The Florida Legislature is debating on whether to expand Medicaid. About two weeks ago, the Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill that would expand health care coverage to about 800,000 low-income Floridians using billions in federal dollars.

And the U.S. Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services would have to grant the state a waiver to get the federal funds.

freedigitalphotos.net

The University of Miami School of Business hosted its yearly health care conference Monday. The main topic of discussion was “disruptive innovation,” which organizer and professor Steven Ullmann says means "to disrupt how we do health care provision in this country."

Ullmann says the health care system now is fragmented, and that makes it expensive.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard...

Flickr Creative Commons

The stars seem to be aligning for Medicaid expansion in the Florida Legislature this year.  After two years of blunt refusals to even consider it, some top Republicans, like Miami State Sen. Anitere Flores are saying the time has come.

"And what's interesting," Flores said after a Monday  interview with the Miami Herald editorial board, "is that you have the buy-in from the business community, from the private sector, from your nontraditional supporters of government funding."

Jamie Harden knows firsthand how Florida Legislative leaders feel about Medicaid expansion.  

Last year, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce asked him to join BayCare Health System President Steve Mason at a meeting with legislators and lobby to expand the state’s health insurance program for the poor.

Harden, a Tampa sign company president, said it didn’t go well.

Florida Legal Services

State health policy experts said Thursday prospects for expanding Medicaid in the Legislature this year remain dim because of unwillingness in the leadership and possibly fatal flaws in the two leading proposals. And those experts warn another refusal could come with a stunning economic cost for Florida.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

StockMonkeys / Wikimedia (stockmonkeys.com)

After nearly a decade-long fight, a federal judge ruled that Florida’s Medicaid program violates several federal laws when it comes to healthcare for children.

Judge Adalberto Jordan found the care provided through the insurance program for the poor failed to “promote quality of care or equal access” for kids.

Flickr user Tax Credits per Creative Commons license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Just in time for Labor Day, a new report finds that Florida’s minimum wage is less than half what workers need to cover basic expenses.

The report, titled “Families Out Of Balance,” comes from the Alliance for a Just Society, a Seattle-based advocacy group. It finds that a single adult in Florida should make about $16.98 an hour to pay for necessities like rent and utilities. That’s more than double the state’s minimum wage of $7.93.

John O'Connor / WLRN

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist says if he’s elected, he wants a special session to expand a state-run health insurance program for the poor and disabled.

Crist says Florida could cover an additional one million people by expanding Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Creative Commons of Charles Bell's Anatomy of the Brain, c. 1802 / Flickr user Shaheen Lakhan

  This month, Florida became the first state to offer a Medicaid plan dedicated to people who are diagnosed with severe mental health disorders.

It’s part of a larger move by the state’s Medicaid officials to move coverage towards a managed care system. It means one organization takes care of and coordinates all of a person’s health care needs: no more separate dental, vision, and internal medicine plans.

Mental health issues are almost twice as prevalent among Medicaid recipients than in the general population.

freedigitalphotos.net

The campaign to expand Medicaid for Florida's uninsured poor continued in Tallahassee last week with a mass lobby conducted by doctors and nurses from Miami's Jackson Hospital. They went from office to office in the Capitol seeking legislative support, but got basically nowhere.

Hear the full story:

Gina Jordan/WLRN

March 4 marks the start of the 2014 Florida Legislative session at the Capitol. It runs through May 2.

For two months, lawmakers will consider proposed legislation on everything from marijuana to red-light cameras.

All they really have to do is come up with a spending plan for the fiscal year that begins in July.  Gov. Rick Scott is recommending half a billion dollars in tax and fee cuts.

HECTOR GABINO / EL NUEVO HERALD

International soccer star David Beckham says the only thing keeping pro soccer from Miami is a stadium. That is indeed a challenge. While Beckham has said he doesn’t want “public funding,” his group has hired a Tallahassee lobbyist to pursue to a sales-tax subsidy, and it’s unclear if he’ll pay market rate for any public site.  

Pages