NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
Despite their initial, vehement protests, a growing number of Republican governors are giving their blessing to expanding Medicaid in their states
Some 15 states have chosen to participate so far, with another 10 leaning towards expansion, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal group.
Though many Republican governors say their state can’t afford the cost of expansion, the political resolve of some has crumbled over the past two months in the face of heavy pressure from hospital associations, medical groups, local governments and others. Providers — particularly hospitals, where many uninsured folks go for care — say their costs of treating those without coverage would fall under the expansion.
. Some 14.3 million citizens would be newly eligible if every state enrolled.
Various interest groups have put a full-court press on governors and lawmakers, said Ed Haislmaier, a senior research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, which opposes broadening Medicaid. “They want to get their hands on that money,” he said.
The financial argument helped sway Scott, who still has to convince a Republican-led legislature to sign on. Some 1.3 million adult Floridians would become eligible for Medicaid under the expansion.
“While the federal government is committed to paying 100% of the cost of new people in Medicaid, I cannot, in good conscience, deny the uninsured access to care,” he said Wednesday when announcing his decision to participate for three years. (Government only pays for a limited number of years and then the state pays)
Now that Scott is on board, Texas remains the last big holdout.
Florida under Scott was among the first states to sue to overturn ObamaCare. I guess if you can’t beat Chief Justice John Roberts and Obama you might as well join them. Scott’s decision has to be passed by the state legislature. But what are the odds of them saying no to “free” federal money,
Scott’s one concession seems to be the Medicaid expansion will be administered through a system of private plans he’s created. One problem, that plan has been a failure to date.
The privatization expands on a five-county pilot program that has been rife with problems. Critics worry for-profit providers are scrimping on patient care and denying medical services to increase profits. Some doctors have dropped out of the pilot program, complaining of red tape and that the insurers deny the tests and medicine they prescribe. Patients have complained they struggled to get doctor’s appointments. Several health plans also dropped out of the pilot program, saying they couldn’t make enough money. Patients complained they were bounced from plan to plan with lapses in care. Nearly half of the 200,000 patients enrolled in the pilot have been dropped from at least one plan, federal health officials noted at one point during negotiations. Lawmakers say they have fixed the pilot program’s shortcomings, with provisions including increased oversight and more stringent penalties, including fining providers up to $500,000 if they drop out. The measures also increase doctors’ reimbursement rates and limit malpractice lawsuits for Medicaid patients in hopes of increasing doctor participation in the program.
I’m sorry but a government program that fines people for leaving it because the program cost them money doesn’t sound very conservative or free market to me. Scott just agreed to kill the state of Florida.
Medicaid serves about 3.3 million people in Florida at the moment, so another million people will be roughly a 30 percent increase. 30 percent of current $21 billion annual cost that is “consuming Florida’s budget” is $6.3 billion. When the state ends up covering 10 percent of that, it’ll add up to a cool $630 million – probably more, since these figures are unlikely to hold steady through 2020.
So a system that is a failure in a few county pilot program is now going to expand exponentially and work just as forecast? Sure. Oh and once we do amnesty and all those newly created legal residents are eligible for full medicaid benefits, what happens to the budget? And this is from a “conservative” governor.