State may not be able to support the expansion of its Medicaid program at this time
Plans to expand Florida’s Medicaid program may be stalling as the state’s governor, Rick Scott, withdraws his support for such an initiative. Governor Scott had been a supporter of the concept of expanding Medicaid for some time, suggesting changes to the state budget in order to accommodate the initiative. Expanding Medicaid would have brought federal funds to the state, which would have helped cover the cost of the expansion and make health insurance coverage more accessible to consumers throughout the state.
Negotiation concerning funding of Low Income Pool program have stalled
Governor Scott has been negotiating with the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services, but these negotiations seem to have stagnated. These negotiation included a program known as the Low Income Pool, which would have provided $2.2 billion in federal and state funding that would allow hospitals to treat low-income patients. Governor Scott believes that the program will not receive the financial support that it needs to be successful, which may also affect the state’s plans to expand its Medicaid program.
Health insurance is still too expensive for many consumers
Expanding Florida’s Medicaid program would have made health insurance accessible for some 800,000 people living in the state. The vast majority of these people are not able to afford health insurance coverage currently, even if they seek coverage through the state’s insurance exchange. Though consumers can find subsidized coverage through the exchange, federal subsidies do not cover the entirety of the cost of insurance coverage, and consumers cannot pay for their share of the costs.
Plans to expand Medicaid may be put by the wayside
According to Governor Scott, the federal government has noted that it will not be covering a significant portion of the funds that are needed by the Low Income Pool project, leaving the state to cover the majority of the costs associated with the program. Having to commit a great deal of its funds to the program would have an impact on various parts of the state budget, which will likely place expanding the state’s Medicaid program as a very low priority for the future.