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Both the US Senate and House have introduced bills that could potentially bring changes to the funding and laws surrounding American health care. Advocating for the rights of the people to receive adequate health care coverage, Florida Governor Rick Scott and U.S. Senator Bill Nelson have recently expressed their opinions on how these bills would affect the state’s residents.
Few US states have as many citizens who rely on Medicaid as Florida. According to a study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, three in five of Florida’s nursing home residents are dependent on Medicaid for their nursing home care. Not only that, but programs such as home care and adult day care are also dependent on Medicaid funding.
It is important to understand that the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act was aimed primarily at delivering primary medical care (doctor visits, hospital stays) to more people by bringing more uninsured citizens into the health insurance pool. While funding for long-term care programs may be impacted by health care reform, it is not the primary target of lawmakers wishing to make significant changes to the health care law.
Florida Sen. Bill Nelson has come out in strong opposition to the Senate version of the bill, which is currently awaiting debate and has not yet been scheduled for a vote. Additionally, Florida Gov. Rick Scott traveled to Washington DC to speak with Senate leaders and Vice President Mike Pence about the health care bill. He sought a guarantee from Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell that passage of the bill would not result in less money per person being paid in Medicaid benefits than is received by other states. Florida has 3.6 million residents currently on Medicaid, a program funded by both federal and state money, and a reduction in federal funds could pose major challenges to Florida’s ability to continue covering these individuals.
If you’re in need of help with asset protection, Medicaid benefit planning, or other late-in-life care concerns in Florida, contact the compassionate and knowledgeable West Palm Beach elder law attorneys at Shalloway & Shalloway for a consultation, at 561-686-6200.