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800,000 Floridians, Most of them Children, Could Be Booted Off Medicaid Coverage

| December 7, 2011

Dennis Kucinich at a September rally for Medicaid, sponsored by some 80 advocacy organizations. (David Sachs / SEIU)

About 800,000 people may be forced out of the state’s Medicaid program if they must pay the $10 per month premium proposed by the Florida Legislature last spring, according to a report released today. (The report appears below.)

More than 660,000 of those who lose coverage are likely to be children, says the study, a part of a series from Georgetown University and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. (Disclosure: The Jessie Ball duPont Fund is an underwriter of Health News Florida.)

The change could cut nearly in half the number of Floridians enrolled in Medicaid, the state’s health insurance for the poor and disabled, said Joan Alker, a co-author of the report.

Children will bear the brunt of the losses, largely because there are far more children than adults enrolled in Florida’s Medicaid program, Alker said.

“If (other) states do have premiums for children, it’s at higher income levels. There’s nothing else as broad as this in the entire country,” she said.

Researchers analyzed experiences from other states that charge premiums and used a formula to determine how many people are likely to lose coverage, Alker said.

A one-parent, two-child family that earns $11,000 per year would pay about $360 per year in premiums, or 3 percent of their incomes, the report states.

Nursing home patients would be exempt from payment, the report says.

The premiums are part of a larger Medicaid reform package that would move nearly all of Florida’s Medicaid recipients into managed care plans. The reform and the premiums are both pending approval from the federal government, which pays more than half of the cost of the Medicaid program.

A pilot version of the reform has reaped controversial results in Broward, Duval and three rural counties. A University of Florida study found that privatizing Medicaid may save some money. Critics contend that any savings came at the expense of needed care.

The latest to weigh in, a conservative Naples group called the Foundation for Government Accountability, said in a recent report that the pilot not only saved money but raised patient health outcomes and satisfaction rates.

Lawmakers hope that the overhaul will help plug millions in the state budget, but the motivation for the premium charge appears to be more “philosophical,” the Georgetown report says.

Rep. Matt Hudson (R-Naples), chairman of the Florida House Appropriations Sub-committee, argued for the proposal on the House floor, saying the change would make people “personally responsible for their own health.”

“Everyone else in society is paying a portion of their own health care, including the military and retirees,” he said. “So why shouldn’t this segment of the population?”

Hudson declined to comment for this article.

Rep. Elaine Schwartz (D-Hollywood), a vocal opponent of the overhaul, said she doesn’t believe people should treat state-run services like the private sector.

“It’s totally unrealistic that these people could pay this premium, it’s punishing…I can’t comprehend it,” she said.

Laura Goodhue, of health-advocacy group Florida CHAIN, said she frequently sees people for whom the premium would be an impossible reach.

“There are so many things that could prevent people from paying,” she said. “Are they homeless? Do they have a bank account? It’s a huge barrier, even if you don’t look at affordability.”

–Brittany Davis, Health News Florida

Health News Florida reporter Brittany Alana Davis can be reached at 954-239-8968 or by e-mail.

Medicaid Report

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46 Responses for “800,000 Floridians, Most of them Children, Could Be Booted Off Medicaid Coverage”

  1. Kip Durocher says:

    “A one-parent, two-child family that earns $11,000 per year would pay about $360 per year in premiums, or 3 percent of their incomes, the report states.”

    Brought to you by the degenerate republican non-human government of Florida.

    “..move nearly all of Florida’s Medicaid recipients into managed care plans…”

    Brought to you buy governtor rick scott to benefit his wife, his “blind” stock portfolio and his friend’s wallets.

    Lawmakers hope that the overhaul will help plug millions in the state budget, but the motivation for the premium charge appears to be more “philosophical,” the Georgetown report says.

    Rep. Matt Hudson (R-Naples), ……..make people “personally responsible for their own health.”
    READ ~ stick it to the poor because they don’t vote much.

    “Nursing home patients would be exempt from payment, the report says.
    READ ~ They vote only if by absentee vote, filled out, er I mean delivered by republican automatons.

  2. Angela Smith via Facebook says:

    What part of “POOR” do these morons not understand? Oh, wait, they’re Republicans…………never mind.

    • Layla says:

      Angela, everybody I know is poor right now, many are Republicans, but not all. Haven’t met a single moron among them.

      Everybody is scared and worried, that’s the one thing we all have in common. We will do better as a community if we find a way to stand together to get through this. Maybe buy some Christmas presents for families who can’t, maybe pay someone else’s electric bill? Some small thing for somebody else.

      Whatever we decide, I hope we will all do something to make this a better Christmas for us all.

      Merry Christmas.

  3. palmcoaster says:

    Sure agree with you Kip! Could not tell it any better!

  4. Oneofthe10%whovoted says:

    Call me the meanie here, but I don’t think asking someone to pay a $10 a month premium for healthcare is too much. The way Obamacare has been set up is that all Medicaid patients will be turned over to the state payrolls as soon as it goes into effect. No more help from the feds on this one.

    Explain to me, please how they cannot pay this?

    Sorry folks, but this is not unreasonable. I have to pay much more than that for my healthcare. This country is not a free ride for anybody.

    This is a very reasonable fee.

  5. pcadiron says:

    I agree with Oneof the10%. We pay a pretty hefty premium per month to cover our family. This is a lot of money to us. I don’t think $10/month is a lot to anyone these days, especially for healthcare. BTW, I’m a registered Democrat who can think for myself. This is not a political viewpoint, just a common sense one.

  6. Kimberly Barnhart via Facebook says:

    I’m sorry, but $10 a month for health care coverage is not bad…at all.

    • Mike says:

      Did you stop and thing about the coverage and quality of care? Did you ponder how someone without a cent to their name will fulfill this, like a homeless person? What about someone without a bank, will they be able to pay in cash? Where? etc. $10 isn’t “bad” per se, it’s more or less that you have to realize that they’re just simply trying to squeeze every cent they can out of an already disenfranchised population.

      • Oneofthe10%whovoted says:

        Mike, I am a military dependent. The government already decides my healthcare, which at times includes denial. Do you really think they have two groups of doctors, one for those who pay more?

        Those without a cent will continue to be subsidized by the State of Florida. Why should everyone who can pay SOMETHING not pay toward helping us all, take some responsibility when they can?

        For the rest of us, the government intends to take it out of our bank accounts. If you are just now realizing that, where have you been?

        The $10 will be deducted from other state sponsored benefits these families are receiving, SSI if necessary. And those who cannot pay will continue to be treated, just as they are now. The law says you cannot turn someone away.

        This is not intended to be cruel, it is intended to help us pay our bills. At some point, we are all going to have to do our level best to be more responsible for ourselves. Anyone who does not realize that is dreaming. Our government is running out of money, fast.

  7. eileen says:

    OMG! $10.00 a month is GREAT! I want medicaid! For 2 kids? So that is $5.00 a kid?
    You can’t feed a cat for $10.00 a month.

    • Oneofthe10%whovoted says:

      It’s $10 per child. It’s worth a try. Something is better than nothing. Right now the feds are subsidizing Medicaid. When Obamacare goes into affect, that responsibility all goes to the states, I believe.

      We are going to have to come up with that money on our own. The goal should be that nobody is cut off.

  8. Oh come on people, what is wrong with you. They should get free healthcare, along with their free housing. Of course to go along with their food stamps, and welfare checks. They cannot afford the $10 dollars a month, that would be one less dime bag that they can buy. Enough with the FREE rides!! Average middle income families dont get shyt for help! That is because they don’t work the system like others! Work hard and pay your taxes people, millions on welfare depend on you!!!

  9. Kip Durocher says:

    If human decency were the arbiter a one-parent, two-child family that earned $11,000 per year would pay nothing for any service provided by the government.

    • Oneofthe10%whovoted says:

      Human decency isn’t the arbiter here, reality is. Ever hear the word RESPONSIBILITY, Kip? We must ALL learn that word and pay SOMETHING for our upkeep.

      Flaglive is right. Too many are gaming the system. I see kids going to school without shoes, but parents with flat screen tvs and cell phones.

      The games must end. We simply cannot afford to pay it anymore. Everyone must prepare to take more responsibility or move to a country where they will cover these things.

      Too many are refusing to carry their share anymore, expecting to be supported. We just can’t do it any longer.

    • Oneofthe10%whovoted says:

      Then how will it get paid for. If I earn $22,000 will I be expected to pay for the family who doesn’t?

  10. ToddTowery says:

    You do your best to keep your children healthy, but sickness and accidents are a part of life. Getting health insurance for your children gives you peace of mind knowing they have health coverage when they need it. Search one the web “Penny Medical” for kids they are the best.

  11. palmcoaster says:

    Meanwhile our Governor shifts the taxes we pay to benefit private investors and corporations in a high fee funded DBC college. As usual Rep. GOP John Mica involved. I thought we have a budget crisis …but looks like for these Republicans there is no shortage of our taxes to fund the wealthy.

    • Oneofthe10%whovoted says:

      The governor is trying to fund a project which will bring investment, research, money and jobs into our area. I know that’s a foreign concept to many.

      When was the last time a sitting Governor spent any time here in Volusia and Flagler. At least this one is listening. I’m grateful for that.

      I guess it’s supposed to be evil because a Republican is doing it? Not very productive, Flaglerlive, but keep it up if it makes you feel better.

      • Oneofthe10%whovoted says:

        Sorry, Flaglerlive, I meant Palmcoaster. I know you both to be fair people, even Kip is a fair person, EVEN KIP! :-)

        Just when do we get to stop the name calling and work this out together? When do we get to do that?

  12. Oneofthe10%whovoted says:

    Palmcoaster, President Obama just held a small fundraising dinner in Washington where the price was $35,800 to attend.

    Wasting money like that on an election and you are criticizing Gov. Scott? I believe we have our priorities on backwards.

    • Kip Durocher says:

      Goverenror Baldo spent 72 million dollars of his own money to buy the election for the governator of Florida. Just a small fraction of the money he stoled.

      “Wasting money like that on an election …I believe we have our priorities on backwards.” says the person with the funny name who does ot have the courage of his convictions to even put his real name with the words he says come out of his his mouth.

      Not very productive, Oneofthe10%whovotedforscott, but keep it up if it makes you feel better.

      Uneducated, robotic, non-thinking voters are the meat and potatoes of the Repuglican party

      “Build a fence ~ electrocute the mexicans.”
      “Put 10 year olds to work and fire the school janitors.”

      This is the stuff the repug base loves.

  13. Oneofthe10%whovoted says:

    Florida is home to some great institutes of higher education. Why not bring them here? There’s your major employer the local governments are always looking for.

    And we just happen to have the land.

    • Kip Durocher says:

      damn good idea ~ that is what fort myers, sarasota, boca, jacksonville, immokalee every decision made by any governemtn entity in Flagler County, cities, county, school board, mosquito control, district……………an whatever….. appears to be a reinvention of the wheel, there are dozens of developer towns that could have been called and said what did you do when…..ditto for school boards,
      county commissioners, road and bridge………. ad everything
      but here ~ everything is a multi-workshopped, meetings till 2 at night cluster ╖╕╣║

  14. palmcoaster says:

    @One of the 10%. Obama’s $35,800 campaign fundraising dinner plate was not from my tax dollars, excuse me!. And just like our dear Kip says, why don’t you point at the millions that “scary” spent of his own, buying the Florida election? Maybe we do agree in one thing?….and is to just do away with all this quasi fraudulent elections fundraising for either parties…but we will have the elite at the Supreme Court opposed !!
    Also Florida’s great institutes that you mention and I infer are educational one’s, you forget that are border unaffordable for the ones that are not like you in the 10%.

  15. palmcoaster says:

    And Kip lets do not forget that all those looong local governments workshops have in attendance those $1,200/hour “consultants” telling them and us how we can sc….w, ourselves better!
    Comes by easy to pay them with other peoples monies, aka the tax payers.

  16. palmcoaster says:

    We differ here…between the A) One of the 10% in one side and B) I and maybe Kip in the other.
    Maybe A) comfortably seating at his laptop in his nice home office setting after a comfortable retirement package earned for some VIP/management “well deserved” and earned position in a large corporation, Nothing wrong with it, except that his good life and good fortunes well deserved, make him forget to take a pick out the window of his home/or gated community or his Lexus and can’t see the sad reality. B) instead is still working his business that still provides him with a comfortable life but also exposes him more to the unbecoming situation of his fellow man in distress with many businesses folding over around him to no fault of their own, just for lack of sales and the unemployed knocking to their doors and leaving their resumes looking for work, to no avail. B) is really exposed to the tragedies of his country men, women and children. I had a young neighbor about 34 years old with a wife and 2 little children that shot himself to death over loosing his job in Central Florida in 2008. Maybe, we do not turn the page or go to the next site when our peoples financial or war tragedies are reported. Maybe that makes the difference between us.

  17. Ella says:

    Ok Palmcoaster, should we expect to see you on the ballot in the next election cycle? :)

  18. Oneofthe10%whovoted says:

    VIP management??? Give me a damn break. If it doesn’t agree with you and Kip, it must be a terrible idea. It’s ok, I get it. Not worth discussing, just demean and get on with it.

  19. palmcoaster says:

    @One of the 10%…I said VIP/management and meant one or de other and there is nothing wrong with the positions, to the contrary should be proud if you did and receive the rewards of your dedicated work..
    No intention to demean you at all.

  20. Doug Chozianin says:

    Will the hate-speech mongers please tone it down.

    Why is it necessary to spew invectives especially when describing conservative republicans?

    Are your comments so empty of reason that you need insolence to attract attention?

    • Kip Durocher says:

      You are right again doug.

      I think when describing conservative republicans vituperation would be much more appropriate than simply “to spew invectives.”

      A single mother, with two children, who has an income of 11k a year ~ charging her for half-assed healthcare ~ objecting to that is empty of reason.

      But I do take umbrage at “insolence.” Do you think it insolent to call scott governator baldo?

      • Oneofthe10%whovoted says:

        What do you suggest, Kip? Pay her $1,000 a mo. per child so she can become a baby machine? There’s a woman over in Tampa with 14 kids we’re paying for.

        I think you’re crude and rude much of the time and I think you enjoy that.

        Most people in her situation would get another job. That’s what most of us do when we can’t get by. We look for ways to improve our situation, even if that means getting two jobs, moving to another state, or moving in with a group of women to share expenses.

        She has to take some responsibility for herself. It is not up to me to do it for her. She has to try and improve her situation.

  21. Oneofthe10%whovoted says:

    No, the only intention you had was class warfare. Do you think this is helping our country, our people? Everytime I open my mouth, either you or Kip do your best with a put down.

    You know what? I am coming to the conclusion neither of you is worth the response.


    • Kip Durocher says:

      easy dude what are you hollering at me for?
      did you read above “damn good idea ” ~ that was me responding to one of your ideas
      If, an when I “put you down” there will be no doubt of my intentions
      ~ unless Pierre won’t let it up, as occasionally my A=anarchy overrides my P=progressive and requires I=intervention.
      palmcoaster is a gentleman and would not ever intentionally insult or demean you.

      and I did my time U.S. Army ~ 2 years in the 60s and then , from that experience moved from politically neutral to anti-war and from there after a nixon rape of the constitution, and the carter rape of critical thought, and the raygun rape of the savings and loans, (where jeb and what’shisnamebush got rich) and the constitution, and the clinton rape of decency, and the bush rape of the constitution, the law, the banks, the stock market and now President Zero ~ I became a progressive bordering on anarchist at times.

      We need more political parties ~ we need campaign reform ~real not pretend reform
      We need judicial reform ~ no rational non-mental human will tell you that a corporation is a person.
      When a human gets chewed up in a thingamaggi machine at a factory the corporation looks to get out of
      the situation as cheaply as possible (I have been in negotiations like that on both sides) ~ the corportaion does not feel sorrow or compassion for the family of the dead human.The PR minions might.

      Class warfare started the United States of America. People in North America refused to pay taxes to the “better quality of people” an ocean away for no reason other than they were better.

  22. Oneofthe10%whovoted says:

    The only thing wrong with you and Kip is that you both assume nobody cares about the poor, but you. That’s arrogant and I’m tired of it. I’d say we’re all living it, wouldn’t you? I don’t think we need to be constantly reminded about how bad things are right now.

    Reread your post. You meant every word of it.

    Next you’ll be calling me a terrorist.

  23. palmcoaster says:

    Now comes up the class warfare… actually started by the current conservationist.
    Talking about military ..I am the (not less) proud parent, of a navy veteran myself and that is why I ended up in PC and also because I have always liked Dixie.
    Actually I don’t believe that many of us here express our concerns or joy looking for anyone’s response in particular.. I think we just do it to inform each other more or less of what is intended to be swept under the rag by other media sources or just conveniently hidden or distorted by some of the one’s at the helm, sometimes.. So maybe we can diminish the: “Keep them ignorant and conquer them”

    • Kip Durocher says:

      kudos ,
      and i do so enjoy the posts your complete liberation of syntax allows you to scribe here

      the peeps in USA are gettin’ played like cheap fiddles.
      And to make matters worse ~ bunches of ’em applaude it.

  24. Oneofthe10%whovoted says:

    Didn’t mean to imply that either you or Kip are anti military. I only meant you are quick to judge people based on politics.

    What’s it gotten any of us, except some terrible leaders? In this current climate of “hope and change”, I’m not sure what people are looking for anymore, but if we don’t pitch in together and roll up our sleeves, we won’t have it much longer, any of it. I’d kinda planned on leaving something to my kids. I worked hard to do that.

    This is a great country. It offers us all kinds of opportunity, but we must work for it. We’ve gotta stop handing it to everyone because we all deserve this or that. What’s wrong with working for a living? Why should someone having money be a bad thing? That’s like sayin responsibility is a bad word. We don’t like to use that word anymore.

    The government got us here, not the people, not the corporations, it was the government.

    We’ve gotta stop labeling people and listen more. Everybody is busy expressing their concerns, but I’m not seeing any solutions. And I know I’m damned sure tired of the name calling. You can’t BE respected unless you’re willing to first respect the views of others.

    Do we agree? Hell, no. But I’ll listen. I’ll always listen.

  25. Kyle Russell says:

    Gosh, those single parents making $11,000 are such lucky duckies. If only I could pay so little for health care! And like Oneofthe10% says, they also get SSI, food stamps, and welfare checks. I really wish I could trade places with them, such a fantastic quality of life.

    • Oneofthe10%whovoted says:

      Sorry if it offends you that people need to take some responsibility for themselves, Kyle. But too many are accepting it because it is easier to do, or they have given up.

      If I can live off unemployment, why should I look for a job?

      If this were your quality of life, what would you do to improve it? Just about anything, I’d guess.

  26. Kyle Russell says:

    That point of view ignores the fact that sometimes, life doesn’t put you in circumstances where you can do much to help yourself. Sometimes people really are stuck, and we shouldn’t act like the middle class is being screwed over to support them when these people would give anything to trade places with the people helping to subsidize their livelihoods.

  27. Oneofthe10%whovoted says:

    I’ve been there, Kyle. There is always much you can do to help yourself. But you must want to do that first.

    We must all work hard together or it won’t work.

  28. palmcoaster says:

    Not that the distressed mom didn’t try hard for her children and herself to subsist:
    Does anyone believe that the 1/3 of the total of homeless American families in our country currently in Florida chose to be in this condition? or are doing nothing to change it? I posted this before, please watch it, after the unavoidable advertisement… :;storyMediaBox. The positive aftermath of the televised tragedy and thanks to the “warm hearted compassionate donations of our good old American fellow citizens”.

  29. Devrie says:

    I didn’t read all the comments, but this is to FlaglerNative…

    I’m an ex-liberal, not-at-all conservative who has this to say: I think part of the problem with our social safety net is that many programs overlap. If you are a single parent making just over 24k with 2 kids, you are eligible for almost anything. If the foodstamps add up to a couple hundred a month, and the rental assistance adds up to about $400 or $500 a month, and Medical insurance adds up to a couple hundred a month…then that single mom is gaining almost $10,800 a year in Gov’t benefits. Add to that the fact that she only pays FICA and little to no other taxes and will more than likely recieve at the minimum, $4,000 in the form of a tax refund . Many get $8,000 or even more, depending on number of children and earned income. So now, though she earns only just over 24K a year, she’s worth at least $38K.

    A woman with the same number of children, earning just over $37K a year would not likely be eligible for any kind of assistance. She will be paying taxes and medical out of that.

    But if 24K can’t pay her light bill, she’ll be eligible to receive assistance for that too!

    So, the thing is this…I believe we need these safety nets. People work hard and not all of us are well-equipped to be engineers or accountants. Those low-level workers provide a very useful function to our society. Those who do not work ever, may provide a function that is not associated with work. Senior citizens and disabled people sometimes need nets too.

    I can’t fathom just taking them away from everyone. Also $10 a month seems like crumbs, but I worked with some hard-working poor people who just couldn’t pass the GED for anything! They’d try and try and try…I think of the few I knew, some of them had un-diagnosed learning disorders, but they had too much pride to find out or to apply for disability. They’d work as medical aids and cleaning ladies, for $8.00, but then had to pay self-employment taxes out of that, which ended up being way more than they’d pay if they were employed by an employer!! They scraped all they could just to pay a $40 light bill!

    It’s more the system, I think, then a ton of lazy people. People inherently want to be valuable, and we tend to put a lot of value on work ethic and monetary self-sufficiency in our culture. A lot of people are messed up, but we really don’t see news articles about the single dad who works a normal job to raise his two kids when the factory closed, so now he receives rental assistance, but lives in a nicely kept home. It’s not noteworthy.

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