Report: FL Losing Most ACA Medicaid Money

Aug 18, 2014
Originally published on August 18, 2014 1:02 pm

Florida looks to lose more federal money set aside for Medicaid than any state that has opted out of expanding the health care program for the poor, says a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute.

Florida is losing $66.1 billion over the next decade, and its hospitals face losing $22.6 billion in payments for treating the poor, according to the analysis of 24 states not participating in the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion. An estimated 1.06 million state residents also will remain uninsured, the report said.

This projected loss of federal money is not unexpected. But the Urban Institute and other groups supporting the ACA say the loss will directly affect hospital finances and individual state economies.

The report also estimates that Florida will need to invest just $536 million a year in order to expand Medicaid and cover the 1 million uninsured residents.

The ACA funds 100 percent of a state’s Medicaid expansion money for the first three years, and 90 percent after that. Florida Legislative leaders have repeatedly said they are skeptical the federal government will be able to fulfill that offer.

Only Texas, with $65.6 billion, comes close to Florida in the amount of federal funding it could have received for Medicaid expansion. Three other states, Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, are reported to be leaving more than $30 billion behind, according to the analysis.

--Health News Florida is part of WUSF Public Media. Contact Reporter Mary Shedden at (813) 974-8636, on Twitter @MaryShedden, or email at shedden@wusf.org. For more health news, visit HealthNewsFlorida.org.

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