Medicaid expansion

Questions Swirl Around Additional Health Money

Apr 21, 2021
A man being helped by a nurse while he sits in a hospital bed looking at her.
Alessandra Tarantino / Associated Press

Florida is getting another boost in federal money after the Biden administration extended a public-health emergency, but it’s unclear if the Republican-controlled Legislature will use the extra cash to bolster health care spending.

Florida Medicaid Expansion Bid Gathers Signatures

Apr 15, 2019
The Florida state capitol.
Michael Riviera / Wikimedia Commons

With more than $400,000 in backing since the beginning of the year, a political committee seeking to expand Medicaid through a constitutional amendment has submitted more than 21,000 petition signatures to the state, according to the Florida Division of Elections website.


It's a busy Monday morning at the St. Petersburg Free Clinic, and Philip Ertel is here for a check-up. The 60-year-old needs refills for his diabetes and cholesterol medications.

http://www.tmcinnovation.org

A new survey from the Texas Medical Center’s Health Policy Institute shows where Florida voters stand on the issue of expanding Medicaid to the state's low-income residents.

Director for the Texas Medical Center Policy Institute, Dr. Tim Garson, spoke Thursday on First Coast Connect about the survey and what it could mean for Florida.

Medicaid Expansion

A new survey shows where Florida voters stand on the issue of expanding the Medicaid pool to the state’s low-income residents.

The Texas Medical Center’s Health Policy Institute poll finds 68 percent of Florida voters are in favor of Medicaid expansion and 71 percent would vote for a candidate in favor of Medicaid expansion.

We discuss the results with Dr. Arthur (Tim) Garson, director of the TMC Health Policy Institute.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Duval County’s suicide rate is far higher than the state average — that’s what the latest community Health Needs Assessment Study found.

Local healthcare providers presented the data and improvement plans Thursday.

Florida Senate

The federal government is standing firm in its decision not to increase funding for indigent health care in Florida next year.

State health officials hoped the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would pony up more than $304 million in matching funds for a program called the Low Income Pool, down from a half billion this year.

One Jacksonville Senator isn't worried about the decrease in funds. At least for now.


Florida State Senator Aaron Bean.
Ryan Benk / WJCT News

A Northeast Florida lawmaker is predicting Medicaid expansion won't be a factor during the next legislative session.

Senate Health Policy Chairman Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach) said his focus will be on bringing down health care costs, rather than expanding coverage in 2016.

That’s because the federal government agreed to extend funding for uninsured patients through next year.


The state legislature adjourned for the year without expanding Medicaid to provide health insurance for about 800 thousand low-income Floridians. But the debate is far from over.

Federal money for the Low Income Pool, assigned to hospitals that care for the poor, will decline by another $400 million next year, and state lawmakers again will be under pressure to help hospitals offset their losses. It will also be the final year the federal government will pay 100 percent of costs for any Medicaid expansion plan the state approves.

We discuss the issue with state Sentator Aaron Bean and Representative Mia Jones.


UF Health

Dozens of budget issues — including the one that threw lawmakers into a special session to finish work on the state budget — moved up the legislative ladder Tuesday, starting the next round of talks aimed at resolving differences between the House and Senate spending plans.

Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons

Underinsured Floridians are concerned about health care coverage after the Florida House voted down Medicaid expansion for the state.

The House argued expansion would be too costly for the state.

The Florida Coastal School of Law’s Disability and Public Benefits Clinic serves uninsured and underinsured individuals in Jacksonville.

The Florida House voted down an expansion of Medicaid on Friday. Lawmakers were called back into special session this month to try to come to an agreement on health care spending. The Florida Coastal School of Law’s Disability and Public Benefits Clinic has several clients affected by the “no” vote on Medicaid expansion. We speak with Clinic director Sarah Sullivan and law student Jenny Rose.

UF Health

UF Health Jax will be forced to close if there is no resolution to Florida’s health care funding crisis says CEO Russ Armistead.

The Florida House and Senate are back in Tallahassee this week after ending their regular session three days early. The two chambers could not agree on how to get health insurance to the state’s low income residents.

During an appearance on WJCT's “First Coast Connect,” Armistead spoke out on the critical issue of hospital funding in Florida.

Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

The UF Health Jacksonville hospital is too important to lose. That’s the message state lawmakers representing Duval County are planning to send to Gov. Rick Scott and legislative leadership in a letter next week.

The Duval delegation resolved to write the letter at their meeting in Jacksonville Wednesday after hearing from the public, including hospital executives and a hospital association president.

Gregory Todaro / WJCT News

Congresswoman Corrine Brown and several state legislators rallied in front of Jacksonville hospital on Monday. The Democratic lawmakers declared opposition to Florida Governor Rick Scott’s refusal to expand Medicaid. 

If the Medicaid debate goes unresolved, Brown warns it might fall on local taxpayers to keep hospitals operating.