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Florida joins call for SCOTUS to end Obamacare

The elimination of Obamacare could have a significant impact in Florida.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said 10 days ago that “we’re not rolling back” Florida’s economic reopening, despite rising numbers of COVID-19 cases.

But actions speak louder than words.

Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears on Friday ordered bars to stop allowing customers to consume alcohol on the premises. The dramatic action was ordered shortly after the state posted new data showing the number of coronavirus infections had gone up by nearly 9,000 cases in one day, setting a new record almost doubling the previous daily high number of positive cases.

As Florida continues to deal with the pandemic, the state has signed onto a legal brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare.” Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody joined Texas and 16 other states that are arguing the federal law should be wiped out completely.

The elimination of Obamacare could have a significant impact in Florida. Even though the state did not expand Medicaid as allowed under ACA, Florida residents use the federal health-insurance exchange included in the law more than any other state. About 1.9 million Floridians used the federal exchange for insurance coverage in 2020.

Also, prior to Obamacare, Florida insurance law did not require insurers to sell plans to people with pre-existing conditions, a feature of ACA that is popular with Americans. Florida lawmakers in 2019 agreed, however, to put some protections into state law, in case the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal health-care mandate.

But the protections the Florida Legislature passed last year pale in comparison to those in the federal law. Florida law requires that all health insurers and HMOs licensed in the state be required to offer at least one policy to people with pre-existing conditions. The state law doesn’t include any price protections for consumers, though.

In other news, the  U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a report on the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Included in the report is a recommendation that Congress change when and how the federal government increases funding to the Medicaid program during economic downturns and recessions.

Medicaid is funded jointly by the state and federal governments. The federal share — known as the “Federal Medical Assistance Percentage,” or FMAP — cannot be altered without legislative action, which can slow things down.

The GAO recommends that, in lieu of congressional action, an automatic temporary increase in the FMAP be triggered if 26 states experience a two-month increase in their employment-to-population, or EPOP, ratio. The EPOP ratio compares the number of employed persons in a state to the working-age population aged 16 and older. Conversely, the GAO recommends that the temporary increase in the FMAP expire once 26 states experience a two-month uptick in their economies and the rate of EPOP declines.

The GAO first made the recommendation for an automatic trigger in a 2011 report that tracked funding associated with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

According to the 2011 report, had the automatic trigger been in effect during the 2008 recession, states would have seen an FMAP increase between January 2008 and September 2011.

But instead, states actually received increased FMAP funds between October 2008 and June 2011. In addition to changing how it’s triggered, the 2011 GAO report recommended that targeted increased assistance be calculated based on increases in the state’s unemployment rate and reductions in total wages and salaries.

When Congress increased the FMAP in 2007 and again in 2019, it appropriated an across-the-board increase that treated all states the same.

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Republished with permission of the News Service of Florida.

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Sonja Fitch

    June 27, 2020 at 6:38 am

    The motto of the goptrump cult members duffus Desantis and Ashley Moody And Rick Scott is just like the Nazi plan. Let them sick poor and elderly DIE! May god have mercy on their souls!

    • Jessy

      June 28, 2020 at 12:15 am

      I agree 100%. It’s disgusting thatTHEY are who is in charge of every Floridians life. They are killing ppl here.

  2. DisplacedCTYankee

    June 27, 2020 at 8:15 am

    Way to go, Gov. DeMAGA. Wait until 1.9 million Floridians protest in the streets over their loss of ACA coverage.

    Note to the editor: The lede was pretty buried in this story. I would have moved and rearranged some grafs and added some emphasis. But thanks nevertheless for at least covering the story.

    • Palmer Tom

      June 27, 2020 at 4:08 pm

      I agree. I’m a retired journalist. Too much of the writing on the site sometimes borders on stenography and often excludes basic background and perspective.

  3. Ann

    June 27, 2020 at 8:28 am

    We will all take their names to vote them out in 2020 or 2022 – come up with a different plan do nothing GOP – oh wait you couldn’t do it when u had control of house & senate 🤮🤮🤮

  4. SANDY OESTREICH

    June 27, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    RESTRAIN ME! KEEP ME AWAY FROM FL GOV DESANTIS! WHAT A u@%@@&&!@*** HE IS! SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL HIM THAT WHEN TRUMP LOSES, DESANTIS WILL GO DOWN WITH HIM! IS THAT WHAT HE WANTS?

    THESE CONTINUING BOGUS ACTIONS OF DESANTIS RISKS HIM LOSING HIS SEAT AS BOTH SIDES SEE HOW CRUELLY STUPID HE IS TO PUT ALL HIS FAITH IN THE MENTALLY UNSTABLE TRUMP FOR REELECTION!

    HE’S ALREADY EXTREMELY DISLIKED. NOT A GOOD SIGN FOR DESANTIS’ RE-ELECTION. SERVES HIM RIGHT AS HE GOES Down.

    • Jessy

      June 28, 2020 at 12:20 am

      You are 100% correct! Trumps gotta go & when he does, Desantis will be right behind him especially cuz his head is stuck so far us trumps ass anyway so it’ll be a 2 for 1.

  5. Tjb

    June 27, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    The pro-life folks must enjoy letting people die because the dead did not have healthcare. I am still waiting for Trump to deliver on his promise of great healthcare for all at a great price.

  6. PeterH

    June 29, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    Cruelty, corruption and incompetence has no limit in Republican Bobby Jindal’s “Party of Stupid!” In the early stages of an uncontrolled pandemic, the GOP attempts to deliver the final blow to the USA’s first and only National Health Care plan ….. without a replacement strategy anywhere in site. Vote these fools out of office up and down the ticket. They hate America more than they hate Obama.

  7. Phil Pinol

    June 29, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    Maybe time to seriously think about recall of Mini-Me and the 2 jerks that represent FL in the Senate. All we’ve seen from these so called “leaders” is gross incompetence.

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