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Lawmakers push Medicaid cuts as budget talks wind down

TALLAHASSEE — Moving toward agreement on a $70 billion state budget, lawmakers on Sunday night endorsed cutting more than $340 million in Medicaid funding from Florida hospitals and nursing homes. Read more.

New Message from Coalition to Heal Healthcare in FL Highlights Urgent Need for Medicaid Services

~ Coalition’s commercial urges legislators to spare essential health care programs
from devastating funding cuts ~

Tallahassee, Fla. – The Coalition to Heal Healthcare in Florida, Inc., has released its fourth strong message highlighting the life-saving urgency for Medicaid funding and calling on state legislators to minimize the impact on Florida’s children from any reductions.

The commercial emphasizes the effects that budget cuts could have on children and their families who depend on the Medicaid program. The Coalition is a statewide, bipartisan organization working at the grassroots level to stop devastating cuts to Florida’s Medicaid program.

“The Legislature is now in the home stretch of its budget-writing process, and there is no time to spare for Floridians who understand the tremendous difference Medicaid makes in so many families’ lives,” says Bruce Reuben, president of the Florida Hospital Association.  “Our most vulnerable children have felt the burden of repeated budget cuts, and it’s now time to draw the line and prevent further reductions.”

The television message premieres today in Tallahassee. It is part of a broader Coalition effort against Medicaid cuts that includes a website, social media, more than 15,000 letters to legislators from concerned citizens and three other TV messages. The Coalition’s overall message to legislators is No More Cuts.

The Coalition is composed of patients, their families and health care professionals determined to protect funding for the care of low-income families, children, the elderly and disabled. Members have leveraged their collective voices to bring awareness to the consequences of further cuts to the Medicaid program. To date, more than 60 organizations have joined the Coalition.

To view the new message or for more information on the Coalition, visit: healflhealthcare.com.

The following is the text from the television message:

 

Heal Florida Health Care

“Braelyn”


Mom:

When our son Braelyn was only five months old, he contracted bacterial meningitis. He was brought back to life in a hospital emergency room…twice.

Dad:

But without Medicaid, we couldn’t afford medication costing thousands of dollars a month.

Mom:

We will sacrifice whatever it takes to keep our son alive, including food on the table.

Dad:

Please call your state Senator in Tallahassee and let ‘em know that cutting Medicaid is the kind of tough no parent should have to face.

 

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Simply shifting costs is poor Medicaid policy

A Times Editorial

Published Thursday, March 1, 2012

State budget gimmicks are nothing new for the Florida Legislature. But next year’s Medicaid budget could sink to a new low: Counties — and by extension local taxpayers — could be forced to pay bills they do not owe. Hospitals would see Medicaid reimbursement rates further slashed. Medicaid patients would have limits on emergency room visits, and doctors may not receive a reimbursement increase because of an ideological fight between Republican lawmakers and the Obama administration. Read more.