June 9, 2017

Who's hit by Medicaid cuts? 41% of Palm Beach Co. children, study says [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:

“As Florida legislators voted to reduce Medicaid spending by $521 million Friday, a new report shed light on who is affected by budget battles in Tallahassee and Washington: Medicaid covers 41 percent of Palm Beach County children, or more than 116,000.

That’s up from about 76,000, or 27 percent of the county’s children, six years earlier, according to researchpresented by Georgetown University, the University of North Carolina and the Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added].

Since 2008-09, the number of children lacking insurance in Palm Beach County was cut almost in half to 24,480 by 2014-15, researchers said.

Medicaid covers an even bigger share of children in rural counties, including 64 percent in Okeechobee County.

‘Cutting funding to Medicaid and changing its financing structure into a per capita cap or block grant would hit children the hardest, damaging their overall well-being and future quality of life as adults,’ said Joseph F. Pennisi, executive director of the Lake Mary-based Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added]. It calls itself a ‘common sense’ think tank promoting general prosperity.

Overall, 57 percent of children in Florida’s small towns and rural areas receive Medicaid coverage and 44 percent do so in urban areas, researchers estimated.

‘When Florida children and families have health insurance coverage, the whole state benefits,’ Pennisi said. ‘Providing greater access to care can equate to fewer visits to emergency rooms, less uncompensated care and more people getting—and staying—healthy.'”


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