The Phoenix Flyer

Proposed state budget 2023-24: Unlike other states, still no Medicaid expansion for FL

By: - February 1, 2023 1:24 pm

Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled the state budget for 2023-24 on Feb. 1, 2023. Credit: Issac Morgan

Funds for postpartum and pregnant women, Alzheimer’s programs, cancer research and more, will likely be included in the 2023-24 state budget related to health. But Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday didn’t mention any plans to expand Medicaid, an issue that many Democrats have been pushing for years in the GOP-led Legislature.

“One of the things that we’ve always said in Florida as we want to support seniors first and put seniors first. We’ve done that in a variety of ways,” DeSantis said in the state Capitol during a news conference on the 2023-24 budget.  “One of the things we’ve done. …support for Alzheimer’s, not just for research, but also for services. So, we have nine million for memory clinics …”

The governor’s remarks are considered a proposal. Lawmakers are the ones who craft the state budget during the legislative session. The governor must approve the budget and can veto items in a budget.

At the news conference, what’s called the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement is scheduled to end on March 31, and the state will be permitted to remove Medicaid recipients if they are considered no longer eligible.

The Republican governor was asked by a reporter about the process of reevaluating eligibility for Medicaid recipients. Health policy experts have predicted that over a million residents would lose their health coverage because they no longer will be eligible.

DeSantis didn’t offer specific details about the issue. But he did say:

“Well, when did that expire? Did it expire?” DeSantis asked. “But I think they’ve played footsy with that before. We budgeted for, we have the budget for what we did and we will follow through on that budgeted amount.”

However, state agency leaders said during a recent committee meeting that those deemed ineligible will be notified and provided alternative health care plans, including the Florida Healthy Kids program and other health care providers.

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Issac Morgan
Issac Morgan

Issac Morgan is a 2009 graduate of Florida A&M University's School of Journalism, and a proud native of Tallahassee. He has covered city council and community events at the Gadsden County Times, worked as a sports news assistant at the Tallahassee Democrat, a communications specialist for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and as a proofreader at the Florida Law Weekly.