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Press Release

U.S. Rep. Castor Applauds Federal Court’s Dismissal of DeSantis Administration’s Cruel Attempt to Undermine Health Care Coverage for Kids

TAMPA, FL – Today, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-14) released the below statement following a federal judge’s dismissal of the DeSantis Administration’s lawsuit against the new 12-month continuous eligibility protection for children nationwide. 

“Today’s decision to dismiss Florida’s costly lawsuit against the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is a victory for children and working families nationwide. Governor DeSantis’ cruel decision to challenge the new federal 12-month continuous eligibility protection for children in Medicaid and CHIP would have hurt children across the country. Thankfully, families will be able to enjoy the long-term health benefits and cost savings and as Congress intended.

“Instead of wasting time and energy trying to evade the law, the State of Florida should turn its attention to keeping children healthy and well through consistent health coverage and do more to ensure that children do not experience harmful gaps in coverage due to procedural reasons, bureaucratic red tape, or deliberate actions by the State. It is time for Florida to stop delaying, follow the law and work with CMS to expand CHIP coverage (“KidCare”) to more children. The State of Florida should immediately re-enroll the thousands of children that they pushed off KidCare since January in violation of the new continuous eligibility protection.” 

The newly-enacted federal reform requires all states to maintain continuous coverage for children under age 19 for one year after they have qualified for Medicaid and CHIP. Since the new law went into effect on January 1, 2024, Gov. DeSantis and the State of Florida have wrongfully cut tens of thousands of children from the care they need – the only state in the country to do so. On February 1, 2024, Florida went a step further and sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to upend the new coverage law for the right to continue to disenroll children from Florida KidCare, which could harm kids’ coverage nationwide. Rep. Castor released a statement on April 18, 2024, on the day of the hearing. On April 25, 2024, Rep. Castor led the entire Florida Democratic delegation in a letter to CMS urging them to stop Governor DeSantis from violating the law. On May 31, 2024, Judge William Jung dismissed the lawsuit in the district court in Tampa.