As Florida lawmakers prepare to start the 2020 legislative session, the state is being confronted with a $70.4 million loss in the coming months in the amount of Medicaid money it gets to fund hospitals, train future physicians and treat people who are mentally ill.
Amy Baker, who leads the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research, is including the reduction — slated to take effect May 23 — in budget documents prepared for lawmakers as they begin working on a fiscal 2020-2021 spending plan.
“There needs to be a discussion,” Baker said of the reduction in what’s known as disproportionate share funding.
The federal government targeted reductions in disproportionate share dollars to help pay for the Affordable Care Act, the health-care law commonly referred to as Obamacare. But as Congress has moved to blunt parts of the law, it also has agreed to delay many of its financing mechanisms, including with disproportionate share.
But the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published a proposed rule in September that would lead to cutting $4 billion from the program nationwide. Congress agreed in November to temporarily delay the reductions until May 23.