States like Florida that refuse to expand Medicaid are missing an opportunity to address racial disparities in maternal health and improve child health care, according to a report released Wednesday.
Florida under Gov. Rick Scott repeatedly blocked Medicaid expansion, which provides benefits to all adults earning up to 38 percent above the federal poverty line, an annual income of $16,753 or less.
The majority of the 39,000 people impacted by the change would be seniors and people with disabilities. But Gov. Scott wants the shift to save nearly $100 million.
Trump’s decision to allow states to test a work requirement for adult Medicaid enrollees sparked criticism from doctors, advocates for the poor, and minority and disability rights groups.
It’s 1.1 million fewer than in 2013, but almost a third of the uninsured are eligible for Obamacare but haven’t enrolled, 15% have chosen not to enroll in employee-provided health care, and the rest are uninsured for a variety of other reasons.
Disagreements led Senate Appropriations Chairman Tom Lee, R-Brandon, to label the House as “hypocritical” for rejecting federal Medicaid expansion funding while being willing to issue bonds to pay for environmental projects.
Florida House and the Senate reached tentative agreements Saturday on money to hospitals and providers for the poor, and a $207-per-pupil increase in education funding.
For all of its new provisions, House Republicans said, the so-called Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange, or FHIX, remains Medicaid expansion in disguise.
Federal officials fired back in court against Gov. Rick Scott’s contention that the Obama administration has unconstitutionally tried to link expanding Medicaid with the continuation of a key health-care funding program.
Flagler County Health Department Administrator Patrick Johnson is resigning at the end of the month to take a public health post in North Carolina as county departments in Florida see their roles shift and diminish.