A federal judge Wednesday declared Florida’s health care system for needy and disabled children to be in violation of several federal laws, handing a stunning victory to doctors and children’s advocates who have fought for almost a decade to force the state to pay pediatricians enough money to ensure impoverished children can receive adequate care.
In his 153-page ruling, U.S. Judge Adalberto Jordan said lawmakers had for years set the state’s Medicaid budget at an artificially low level, causing pediatricians and other specialists for children to opt out of the insurance program for the needy. In some areas of the state, parents had to travel long distances to see specialists.
The low spending plans, which forced Medicaid providers for needy children to be paid far below what private insurers would spend — and well below what doctors were paid in the Medicare program for a more powerful group, elders — amounted to rationing of care, the order said.
• Thousands of children are “terminated” — or kicked out of — the Medicaid program each year, sometimes because of nothing more than bureaucratic error. For every budget year from 2003 to 2007, at least 25,000 youngsters younger than age 5 were removed from the Medicaid rolls before they had received a year of insurance. One study found that close to 30 percent of terminations or coverage denials for both children and adults were “erroneous.”
Read more at the Tampa Bay Times
Categories: Health Care, Medicine, Pediatrics, Politics, Public Health, Top stories, US News
This case started back in 2005. For case file information, go to Public Law Center of Philadelphia. http://www.pilcop.org/florida-class-action-medicaid-case/#sthash.CM7Ub5tZ.aU0NX659.dpbs
Basically, what Florida state was doing was underfunding, mismanaged and generally was the worst example of how not to govern. The Judge in this case has kept up with the state lawyers. One smart judge. 🙂 The case file makes for interesting reading about the legal maneuverings that were done or attempted.
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The Maine Governor has become the latest state official to attempt to cut Medicaid. http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2015/01/06/maines-republican-governor-spent-53000-remove-young-adults-medicaid-rolls/
His attempt is to cut 6,000 young adults from qualifying. No doubt some of the reduction is going to be home assistance for the disabled. We’ll have to wait and see what else state legislators and governor’s do.