Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia (left) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York have arrived at a surprise inflation deal that the Senate will start considering on August 6.
Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo
Democrats in Congress are poised to start voting this weekend on an inflation deal.
But the deal doesn’t expand healthcare coverage for people with incomes close to the poverty level.
About 800,000 Floridians will remain uninsured and the next shot at coverage might not be til 2024.
When Democrats in Congress announced last year that they were working on a massive spending bill to transform the social safety net in America, healthcare advocates in Florida were optimistic there might finally be a way to get medical coverage to more people.
Last week, however, their hopes were dashed. One of the many items to hit the cutting room floor in Democrats’ compromise $740 billion Inflation Reduction Act was a provision to sidestep Republican state legislators to expand Medicaid to almost 800,000 Floridians.
The omission is a big blow to Florida’s uninsured, particularly at a time when many are worried about a recession, and residents already are facing high costs at the grocery store and at the gas pump, as well soaring rental bills, healthcare advocates say.
“It’s definitely a missed opportunity, especially if the whole thing centers on inflation and the impacts of inflation,” Scott Darius, executive director at the nonprofit advocacy group Florida Voices for Health, told Insider.
Florida is among 12 Republican-led states that refuse to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. Under the law, states pay 10% of costs while the federal government picks up 90% of the tab.
Florida isn’t likely to have a shot at expanding Medicaid until 2024 at the earliest. Florida healthcare advocates and Democrats have little faith that Republicans in the state legislature will change their position against Medicaid expansion, so they hope to put the question on a ballot in the 2024 election to have voters weigh in directly.
“The ballot measure is our best chance of getting Medicaid expansion passed,” state Sen. Shevrin Jones, a Miami Gardens Democrat who sits on the state Senate’s health policy committee, told Insider.
“This should be the top priority for us, but the Republicans have shown us time and time again that they are not interested in what makes sense,” Jones added. “They are interested …read more
Source:: Business Insider