January 4, 2018

County Snapshots Offer Glimpse into Health of Florida Residents, Highlight Importance of Medicaid Funding

Florida Policy Institute urges legislators to consider vast importance of Medicaid to children and families throughout the state

LAKE MARY, FL – Health indicators such as infant mortality, teen births and the percent of adults in fair or poor health vary drastically between Florida counties.

The Florida Policy Institute (FPI) has compiled county snapshots with data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Georgetown Center for Children and Families and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, along with local Medicaid expenditure figures provided to FPI by the state Agency on Health Care Administration.

“Our hope is that Florida lawmakers will consider the information contained in these snapshots when presented with any legislation that would thwart access to quality, affordable health care,” said Joseph F. Pennisi, executive director of FPI.

“These numbers not only show how important Medicaid is to hard-working Floridians, but also how many constituents would be worse off in the districts of lawmakers who vote to cut it,” said Scott Darius, executive director of Florida Voices for Health.

Billions in Medicaid dollars flow into Florida counties each year to fund vital services for vulnerable residents: low-income children, women, seniors and persons with disabilities. The funding is crucial for local communities to improve public health and prevent more costly, serious illnesses and premature deaths.

For low-income infants and children, Medicaid provides coverage for pediatric recommended screening, diagnosis and treatment. Children covered by Medicaid are more likely to finish high school and go to college, be healthier adults, earn more wages and pay more taxes.

“Medicaid is a lifeline for millions of Floridians, whose quality of life would suffer under current state and federal proposals to cut and cap funding for the program,” added Pennisi.

The Florida Policy Institute is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting widespread prosperity through timely, thoughtful and objective analysis of state policy issues affecting economic opportunity.

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