Florida Medicaid Cuts Could Lead to Thousands of Job Losses, Study Finds
Proposed Medicaid funding cuts in Florida would result in thousands of job losses at hospitals throughout the state and significant reductions in hospital revenue, according to a University of Florida study released Thursday by the Florida Hospital Association, the Orlando Sentinel reports. According to the study, a $100 million cut would lead to 2,187 health care job losses, an output reduction of $258 million and value reduction of $157 million.
The Florida Senate has suggested a $90 million Medicaid funding cut this year, following $250 million in reductions to hospitals over the past two years for services to Medicaid beneficiaries. Bruce Reuben, president and CEO of the hospital association, at a news conference on Thursday said that additional cuts would be detrimental because "Medicaid pays hospitals at rates that are already far less than the cost of providing that care," adding, "We can't recover those costs." Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, said, "What we're advocating for is that we fully fund health care and that we make it a priority."
The hospital association has recommended raising Florida's cigarette tax by $1 per package as a way to fund health care in the state (Myers Palm, Orlando Sentinel, 4/16).