Unless Congress Acts to Prevent the Collapse of Puerto Rico’s Medicaid Program, Millions in Additional Costs Will Shift to Florida

A new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research concludes that unless Congress acts quickly to change Puerto Rico’s Medicaid funding model, both federal and state Medicaid budgets will incur billions more in costs. Thousands of Puerto Ricans will be forced to relocate stateside to get the health care they need, and this health care is significantly more expensive. Since Florida is the most popular destination for Puerto Rican relocation, the state will bear a disproportionate amount of these costs.
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Florida’s New Long-Range Financial Outlook: Thinking About the Budget Outside the Box

The Florida Legislature has adopted its long-range financial outlook for the next three years, based on projected revenues and expenditures for that period. Although the projection for the coming year includes an insignificant surplus (for state budget purposes) of $52 million, the projection for the latter two years shows a shortfall of more than $1 billion per year. These figures do not include the state fiscal impacts of Hurricane Irma.
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Takeaways from New Census Data: Despite Gains, Florida Trails Nation in Measures of Well-Being

The U.S. Census Bureau last week released results from the 2016 Current Population Survey (CPS) and its state-level counterpart, the American Community Survey (ACS), on health insurance, poverty and income, with Florida seeing gains in these indicators of residents’ well-being. However, the Sunshine State still lags behind the national average in all three of these categories. The state must do more to promote economic security and opportunity for all Floridians by preserving anti-poverty programs.
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Children’s Health Insurance Program on the Brink

It’s time to sound the alarm for the Children’s Health Insurance program (CHIP), according to a new blog by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Congress must act by the end of this month to renew federal funding and keep the program alive.
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Report on Preventable Health Care Events Highlights Agency Work to Improve Medicaid Quality of Care and Reduce Costs

A new report from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration focuses on potentially preventable emergency room visits and hospital admissions to help answer the question, “What are we getting for our money?”
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The Growing Divide: Federal Tax Plan Would Give Massive Tax Cuts to Wealthy Floridians as the Poorest Americans Continue to Struggle

The federal tax plan broadly outlined by the current administration would do very little to create opportunities for Floridians struggling to make ends meet. Instead, the tax plan would provide massive tax cuts for Florida’s highest income earners, accordingly to a recent report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). Broadly outlined, the plan is likely to make an already unfair tax system that favors the wealthy even worse. Specific changes in the tax proposal are also likely to undermine state support for core services, which provide a pathway to self-sufficiency and economic independence for millions of moderate- and low-income Floridians.
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Florida Legislature Misses Opportunity to Reform State Criminal Justice System

The 2017 session ended with overtime meetings, requiring members to take three more days to hash out their major spending differences before sending the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017-18 budget to Governor Rick Scott’s desk, and a subsequent special session to address remaining issues. However, taking an important step in reforming the state’s criminal justice system — establishing the criminal justice task force — was not one of the results of the extra days.
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New Report Finds Shortcomings in Florida’s Scholarship Tax Credit Program

State tax policies are undermining high-quality public education by redirecting public dollars for K-12 education toward private schools via tuition tax credits, according to a new report published by the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and the School Superintendents Association (AASA). In the case of Florida, the scholarship tax credit program failed to achieve the primary objective of improving student performance. Instead, it left low-income students further behind academically those low-income students who stayed in public schools, according to the report.
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Behind the Numbers: Medicaid Saves Lives

The American Health Care Act is a troubling assault on the most vulnerable Floridians - the more than 4 million Medicaid beneficiaries. The bill radically restructures Medicaid financing. Over the next decade, $19.1 billion in federal funding would be cut from Florida’s Medicaid program, part of $839 billion in cuts across the country.
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Preserving Medicaid: The Best Mother’s Day Gift

Women will be hurt if federal funding for Florida’s Medicaid program is capped. Critical health care services for women will be on the chopping block.
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