Press Release

U.S. Rep. Castor, U.S. Sen. Nelson oppose FL Gov. Scott’s proposal to cut state’s Medicaid -- harming our neighbors with disabilities, seniors and their families

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Washington, May 10, 2018 | comments
While Florida Gov. Rick Scott seeks a proposal to cut nearly $100 million from families who rely on Medicaid, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-14) and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson are leading an effort by members of Congress from Florida to stop it and protect seniors and our neighbors with disabilities.
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U.S. Rep. Castor, U.S. Sen. Nelson oppose FL Gov. Scott’s proposal to cut state’s Medicaid -- harming our neighbors with disabilities, seniors and their families

While Florida Gov. Rick Scott seeks a proposal to cut nearly $100 million from families who rely on Medicaid, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-14) and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson are leading an effort by members of Congress from Florida to stop it and protect seniors and our neighbors with disabilities.

“Retroactive eligibility is designed to protect Medicaid beneficiaries – including seniors, pregnant women, individuals with disabilities, and parents – and their families from the steep costs of medical services and long-term care,” U.S. Rep. Castor, U.S. Sen. Nelson and other Florida members wrote to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) after learning that Gov. Scott is seeking a waiver that would eliminate Medicaid retroactive eligibility.

“[Approving this decision] could jeopardize the financial security of at least 39,000 of our most vulnerable Floridians and countless providers who treat them. It will also cut at least $100 million from already underfunded Medicaid program that is suffering from the state’s continued choice to pass up more than $66 million in federal funds by refusing to expand its Medicaid program.”

Throughout his tenure, Gov. Scott has aimed to undermine Medicaid, a vital lifeline for Florida families, pregnant woman, children, individuals with disabilities and seniors who require nursing home care. Below are a few examples:

  1. Refusing to expand Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act shot Florida’s support for mental health services to the bottom of all 50 states. In addition, Florida has the third highest percentage of individuals with mental illness who are uninsured.

  2. In 2015, the state implemented a new screening tool to remove more than 13,000 children from Children's Medical Services. Children on this plan have serious health problems including birth defects, heart disease, diabetes and blindness.

  3. The state fought against a federal court order to increase reimbursement rates for vital Medicaid providers – like pediatricians and pediatric dentists – thus denying necessary medical care to children in Florida.

  4. In 2017, Gov. Scott requested the ability for the state to block grant Medicaid, which is a ruse to institute draconian cuts and rip health coverage away from Floridians.

  5. This week, U.S. Rep. Castor, who serves as vice ranking member of the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee and has oversight of health care policy, reminded her colleagues that politicians, such as Gov. Scott, are labeling the opioid epidemic a public health crisis on one hand, but then move to dismantle and hinder Medicaid on the other. “Anything short of a big proposal and a robust Medicaid moves us further away from any significant attempt to address this scourge for so many of our neighbors and communities,” U.S. Rep. Castor said this week.

In addition, U.S. Rep. Castor and U.S. Sen. Nelson’s letter to CMS notes that Medicaid retroactive eligibility was also “designed to minimize uncompensated care costs faced by hospitals and other health care providers who take care of our neighbors and are already challenged by the state’s low reimbursement rates.” Gov. Scott’s proposal “would not only wipe out many families’ pocketbooks, but it would also place large financial burden on health care providers, the state and indeed all Florida taxpayers through increased uncompensated care costs” lawmakers continued.  

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