The U.S. House intends to pursue an alarmingly expedited and non-transparent process to radically restructure the Medicaid program. To ensure the health and economic security of Florida families, key questions must first be answered.
Last week, the Georgetown Center on Children and Families (CCF) blogged about the U.S. House of Representative’s intention to ram through Affordable Care Act (ACA) “repeal and replace” legislation in an unprecedented non-transparent and expedited manner. The House Energy and Commerce (HEC) Committee is today “marking up” a bill that was released publicly less than two days before the committee starts its work. The mark-up will occur without any public hearings or analysis of the bill by agencies with Medicaid and budget expertise (e.g., Congressional Budget Office).
The bill not only repeals and replaces the ACA, but goes much further by cutting and capping federal Medicaid funding. This means that the Medicaid we know, and have depended on for nearly 50 years to take care of the most vulnerable Floridians, would cease to exist. Florida would be on the short end of the one of the biggest costs shifts from the federal government to the state.
The proposal is a serious threat to the health and economic security of Florida children and families. The Medicaid program covers over 47 percent of all Florida children- 2 million – and 1.7 million adults – seniors, persons with disabilities, pregnant women and very low income parents.
CCF’s blog highlights the following key questions, which must be answered before the HEC Committee begins its work. Floridians’ health and economic security are at stake.
The answers to these questions have pervasive implications for the state and for the health and well-being of residents. Policymakers have an obligation to make the proposed legislation public and incorporate full and open input in the best interests of the constituents they serve. As we know in Florida, sunshine is the best disinfectant.