The Miami Herald editorial page reviewed the Florida legislature 2012 session with a judgmental tone. The editorial staff at the Herald were concerned that the legislature failed Neglected Elders and meaningful reform of the Medicaid Program.
Gov. Rick Scott and lawmakers talked a good game, calling for major reforms to improve assisted living facilities in the state. In the end, however, only the Senate was willing to impose serious reforms to help vulnerable ALF residents. But with no willing partners in the House and little leadership from the governor — who swore that this issue was a priority — ALF reform went nowhere this session. Shameful.
MEDICAID CUTS ON FAST TRACK
Jackson Health System dodged a bullet from the governor’s original proposal, which sought to cut a quarter billion dollars in Medicaid funding. Instead, the Legislature’s formula trimmed Jackson’s Medicaid allotment by about $47 million, with the ability to recoup about $12 million of that amount and possibly more through expected federal revenue.But even so, the Legislature forced Florida hospitals to absorb a cut of more than 5 percent in Medicaid funding in a state that already covers far less than what it costs to care for sick, indigent patients.Most maddening: The Legislature rejected $440 million from the feds to improve Medicaid reimbursement rates to physicians, money designed to encourage more doctors to serve the poor and disabled. This is all politics, designed to show displeasure over the Obama administration’s Affordable Health Act, but it winds up hurting Florida’s neediest.