Fla. Lawmakers Still Deadlocked Over Medicaid Expansion, Health Spending Issues
Meanwhile, in other coverage, The Washington Post reports on how state decisions to pursue the expansion of the low-income health insurance program are impacting residents' access to mental health care services.
Legislative Leaders: Session Likely Headed For Overtime Over Medicaid Impasse
Lawmakers will likely need a special session to resolve a deadlock between the House and Senate over health care spending, top lawmakers from the House and Senate said Wednesday. “If we’re not (agreeing on Medicaid expansion) then there’s no reason to sit here and kid ourselves. So we’ll finish out the business that we have before us on the policy and then we come back and do the budget at a later time,” House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, told reporters. The House and Senate are $4.2 billion apart in their preferred budgets, mainly because the Senate includes a plan to expand Medicaid as well as a replacement for the Low Income Pool, a separate Medicaid program that pays hospitals for the care of low-income and uninsured patients. The House budget includes neither. (Rohrer, 4/15)
The Associated Press:
Lawmakers Likely To End Session Without Deal On Health Care
Saying that the "sand is running out of the hourglass," the Republican leaders of the Florida Legislature said Wednesday it appears they will end their annual session on May 1 without reaching a deal on health care and a new state budget. The House and Senate are $4 billion apart in rival budgets and the leaders of the two chambers remain at an impasse over how to bridge the gap - which stems from a deep divide over whether to accept billions in federal aid to expand Medicaid. (4/15)
Tampa Bay Times:
Florida Legislature Heads Toward Special Session Because Of Medicaid Impasse
Even though the session is scheduled to end May 1, state law requires that the final budget be on the desks of lawmakers 72 hours before they vote on it. That moves up the deadline to wrap up budget negotiations to April 27, giving lawmakers little more than a week to bridge a $4 billion gap between the Senate and House proposed budgets. But neither the House nor Senate seem ready to back down. (Van Sickler and McGrory, 4/15)
The Washington Post's Wonkblog:
These States Leave The Most Mentally Ill Adults Untreated. Guess What Else They Have In Common.
The politics of Obamacare have produced a geographic divide in mental health care. Uninsured, low-income Americans in the east, mid-Atlantic and Pacific are receiving more treatment through the Medicaid expansion, while those in the south and central U.S. are not, according to a new report. Nearly 568,000 uninsured people who have been diagnosed with a serious mental health condition would have received treatment in 2014 if their states had chosen to expand Medicaid, according to the American Mental Health Counselors Association, a professional organization that does advocacy and education. (Swanson, 4/14)