Anne Swerlick
May 5, 2017

Behind the Numbers: Medicaid Saves Lives

This post was last updated on September 29, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

The American Health Care Act is a troubling assault on the most vulnerable Floridians – more than 4 million Medicaid beneficiaries.

The bill radically restructures Medicaid financing. Over the next decade, $19.1 billion in federal funding would be cut from Florida’s Medicaid program, part of $839 billion in cuts across the country.

And it’s a double whammy. The bill also funds $600 billion in tax cuts, mostly for households with incomes above $250,000, drug companies, insurance companies and other large corporations.

But behind the wonky policy and numbers, the stories of lives saved by Medicaid remain in the shadows. They are stories of children, struggling parents, pregnant women, people with disabilities and seniors. Their stories need to be front and center as health reform proposals are considered.

The “Some Cuts Won’t Heal” campaign does just that – it shows Floridians whose lives have been profoundly impacted by Medicaid:

  • A cancer patient needing life-saving chemotherapy and other treatments;
  • An auto accident victim receiving rehabilitation services;
  • A child with autism receiving behavioral, speech and occupational therapies; and
  • A child with a life-threatening breathing condition receiving critical services that allow him to live at home.

Go watch these videos. Medicaid is more than just numbers. In the words of Floridians featured in these videos, “Medicaid gave me my life back.”

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