Flagler County Health Department Director Patrick Johnson defended the state’s controversial ban from DOH property against outreach workers called Navigators, who help uninsured people sign up for subsidized health coverage under Obamacare–a law Florida officials have actively and chronically obstructed.
Medicaid and Medicare
Michigan, which like Florida has a Republican governor and legislative majority, has voted to accept federal funds and expand its Medicaid program to the low-income uninsured. It is yet another GOP-dominated state that has done what Florida, which declined $51 billion over 10 years, did not.
The announcement was a victory for Gov. Rick Scott and Republican lawmakers who approved the proposal to move to statewide Medicaid managed care in 2011, amid controversy about whether the changes would best serve the needs of low-income Floridians.
Under the deal on teacher pay raises, one of Gov. Rick Scott’s top two priorities, teachers rated as “effective” would receive a raise of at least $2,500, while those rated “highly effective” would get $3,500. The raises wouldn’t be paid out, though, until June 2014.
Florida’s rejection of federal aid for the expansion of Medicaid leaves the state with a bare-bones alternative to provide health care for the poor and uninsured while setting a defining marker against Obamacare and the federal vision of health care reform.
Sen. John Thrasher says he doubts Sen. Aaron Bean’s small-budget plan for some of Florida’s low-income uninsured will get a floor vote. Bean’s plan was criticized as not much of a plan at all, as it would have cost beneficiaries more than they might have benefited.
Some of the highest-profile issues, from a difference over teacher pay raises to how to structure a major change in Medicaid reimbursements, remained unresolved with a Tuesday deadline looming before legislative leaders take over the negotiations.
What kind of health coverage can you buy for $20 to $30 a month? None. That may sum up the real-world prospects for Health Choice Plus, the plan for low-income uninsured Florida adults that State Sen. Aaron Bean’s committee approved Tuesday along party lines.
The latest proposal to provide health care to Florida’s poorest snubs federal money while creating limited health accounts the poor may tap, but for limited services, and with burdensome conditions of employment–and premiums that most may not be able to afford.
Rather than worship his homeschooling past, what Will Weatherford needs to be wondering is what Florida will be like if its 4 million uninsured citizens continue to go without health coverage, argues Rhonda Swan.