Bill Galvano says Florida could insure working poor with Medicaid block grant
Bill Galvano has good news about the state's August revenue numbers. Image via Herald-Tribune.

Bill Galvano Senate special session

Senate President Bill Galvano said if incoming Gov. Ron DeSantis can flex his connection to President Donald Trump to land Florida a Medicaid block grant, the state could expand health insurance for the working poor.

As reported by Alexandra Glorioso of POLITICO Florida, Galvano isn’t aiming for a repeat of 2015, when the state Senate voted to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act before the state House rejected the plan.

This go around would require a lump sum of cash from the federal government, which Galvano said the Legislature could use to subsidize coverage for the Floridians who would have qualified for Medicaid if the state had opted to expand the government health insurance program.

“I think it is a positive that Governor-elect DeSantis has that relationship with the administration because that does provide some opportunity [on block grant funding],” Galvano told POLITICO Florida. “I just want to proceed with caution and, again, with the idea that we have to have quality care as well as affordable and accessible.”

DeSantis pitched his relationship with Trump as one of the key selling points of his gubernatorial campaign. Glorioso reached out to the incoming gubernatorial administration but didn’t receive comment on whether a Medicaid block grant was among DeSantis’ priorities.

New House Speaker Jose Oliva, however, was receptive to using a potential Medicaid block grant to expand coverage.

But Oliva and Galvano don’t see eye to eye on all things health care.

Oliva favors expanding the scope of practice for nurse practitioners and eliminating provisions that put strictures on where hospitals may open up shop, a regulation the Miami Republican believes stymies competition and raises health care prices.

Galvano, on the other hand, has intimated that scope of practice changes could lead more doctors away from the Sunshine State at a time when there’s already many medically underserved areas of the state, and Galvano doesn’t harbor the same negative feelings on the state’s Certificate of Need laws — the rules that govern where hospitals may open — need to be retooled.

But if a block grant is on the table, he is more than willing to hash out those differences with his counterpart in the House.

“The Speaker wanted to open the conversation and I’m eager to have it and really dig into if there are opportunities where we can deregulate or protect regulation, but do it based on — again — the three pillars of necessary care that should exist,” Galvano said to POLITICO Florida. “Access, affordability and quality.”

One of the priorities Galvano floated was preventative care Medicaid patients to raise their general wellbeing and to diagnose diseases earlier, before they become financially burdensome.

“What the big ‘if’ is, what does it really look like? And we’d have to really have to review the demographics and crunch the numbers, but we know those things are really running up the cost,” Galvano told POLITICO Florida.

Staff Reports


2 comments

  • Douglas Adkins

    November 28, 2018 at 6:50 am

    The Medicaid Reform Plans are a mess, take for example the nightmare most mentally ill face in accessing care under these plans and the fact that crisis driven care such as Baker Act costs and hospital emergency room costs are at all time highs. The health plans are not reforming anything and innovation has been lost in the mix. The “silver tsunami” is about to wash ashore in Florida in the singular word of Dementia. The rising cost of regulation for ALFs and the limited access to care continue to drive up institutional cost which is not sustainable. The collapse of the Assisted Living Facilities as a less expensive option for the middle class has quietly been creating wide disparities in access in the system of care. In 2018 there was a loss of 969 state licensed limited mental health ALF beds for the mentally ill, most of these people have Schizophrenia. There has been no OPPAGA study to examine the encounter data, the AHCA complaint HUB is blowing up with issues. We need bold reformers to look at the major challenges “de novo” and ask the hard questions – where do we go from here. Its no working. “Huston we have a problem”

  • Publius Publicola

    November 28, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    The sad truth is that many, many of the seriously mentally ill should have remained in state mental hospitals. It turns out a well-run mental hospital is the safest, best option. People seriously mentally ill sent to ALFs wound up being preyed upon on the streets and poorly served by ALFs with far too little staffing and minimal training required by the state.
    When you add up all the transportation, ER, outside mental health providers (including phony daycare ‘programs’), and police involvement, it is NOT a cheaper option. ALFs stopped trying to accept ‘limited mental health’ people because they were unable to handle the levels of care needed, not to mention legal liability.

Comments are closed.


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