Monday, August 1, 2011

On Healthcare Reform, Florida Is Consistently Bad

Florida, along with several other states filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. But once the federal government began providing grants to states to assist them with healthcare delivery, some of the very states that oppose the legislation began accepting and applying for these funds. Not Florida!

According to an article in the New York Times, Florida has remained defiant and has rejected federal funding that the healthcare reform legislation provides to states. The impact of the state's refusal to participate, though consistent, seems like poor medicine for a populous state with so many poor and uninsured individuals:
Despite having the country’s fourth-highest unemployment rate, its second-highest rate of people without insurance and a $3.7 billion budget gap this year, the state has turned away scores of millions of dollars in grants made available under the Affordable Care Act. And it is not pursuing grants worth many millions more.

In recent months, either Gov. Rick Scott’s administration or the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature has rejected grants aimed at moving long-term care patients into their homes, curbing child abuse through in-home counseling and strengthening state regulation of health premiums. They have shunned money to help sign up eligible recipients for Medicare, educate teenagers on preventing pregnancy and plan for the health insurance exchanges that the law requires by 2014.

While 36 states shared $27 million to counsel health insurance consumers, Florida did not apply for the grants. And in drafting this year’s budget, the Legislature failed to authorize an $8.3 million federal grant won by a county health department to expand community health centers (emphasis added).
See more here.

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