So the brain trust up in Tallahassee has found itself with a $2 billion hole in the budget (yeah, yeah, financial crisis; more like yeah, yeah overzealous tax cuts), and one of the areas they're looking to make cuts in is Medicaid, which provides healthcare to the state's poorest citizens, according to The Ledger. While it's not certain they'll take that route, they have about $1.2 billion in cuts to the program lined up. So the basic healthcare of the disadvantaged might pay for the poor planning and greed of the rich. Fantastic.
Some of the services that might be eliminated?
One would find about 6,800 pregnant women a year ineligible for healthcare help. Not good news for anyone who'd like to see the number of abortions in the state lowered.
Others would eliminate eyeglasses, hearing aids, hospice care, healthcare for poor 19- and 20-year-olds, or a percentage of pharmacy reimbursements.
because Medicaid is a joint program between states and the federal
government, for every $1 million the Florida cuts, it would also lose
$2.2 million in federal funding.
Legislators aren't totally oblivious, though.
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"We want to try to do no harm," Rep. Kevin Ambler (R-Tampa) told The Ledger. "It's not just about dollars. It's about their lives and how we affect their lives."
Of course, the state already made $1 billion in cuts to healthcare in April. It's becoming increasing more difficult to find places to trim.
The sensible thing to do, instead of continuing cuts in healthcare and education and the like, is to repeal some of Jeb Bush's tax cuts that benifited the wealthy, but with a Republican-controlled House, that's unlikely.