May 5, 2017

Trump: ‘Obamacare dead!’ but Jupiter woman fighting cancer is ‘terrified' [Palm Beach Post]

This post was last updated on September 10, 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.

Charles Elmore of the Palm Beach Post writes:

“President Donald Trump tweeted a day after House passage of sweeping changes to the Affordable Care Act, ‘ObamaCare is dead! But our healthcare will soon be great.’

The revised American Health Care Act has not yet been scored by the Congressional Budget Office. CBO projected a March version would have pushed 24 million people out of health coverage.

Supporters say it stands to bring down costs for healthier, younger and higher-income people. It removes ACA taxes, penalties and subsidies and adds tax credits that include people with higher incomes. And to win over GOP members beseiged at town meetings, the latest version of the bill provides an extra $8 billion over five years for people with pre-existing conditions.

But an addtional $8 billion over five years for pre-existing conditions is a drop in the bucket compared with what is really needed, and it pales in comparison to what amounts to a $1 trillion tax cut for companies and wealthy people, opposing groups said.

‘Since this bill allows states to waive protections for pre-existing conditions, Floridians with cancer, diabetes and asthma could be denied life-saving health care coverage,’ said Joseph Pennisi, executive director of the Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added], which calls itself a ‘common-sense’ think tank promoting general prosperity in Lake Mary. ‘The last-minute amendment to the AHCA, which added $8 billion to fund high-risk pools, comes nowhere close to covering the cost of care for people with pre-existing conditions.’

The bill also lets states receive capped Medicaid funding in block grants. As Pennisi sees it, Florida lawmakers will ‘inevitably’ find themselves confronted by shortfalls of billions of dollars for health programs. They can raise taxes, reduce spending on education or transporation or other needs, or ‘more likely,’ sharply restrict health coverage and benefits, he said.”


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