Sunday, May 19, 2024

The Medicaid showdown between Biden and DeSantis: How it unfolded

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DeSantis Administration Defends Medicaid Removals in Federal Court

The DeSantis administration is facing a legal battle in federal court in Jacksonville over its handling of the removal of hundreds of thousands of residents from Medicaid. The case, which was originally scheduled for Monday, has been postponed by Judge Timothy J. Corrigan, with no rescheduled date announced yet.

This legal challenge is just one of several that have turned Medicaid into an ideological battleground between the DeSantis and Biden administrations. The two governments have clashed over issues such as Medicaid covering gender dysphoria treatments for transgender patients and a provision to keep children insured even when their parents miss premium payments.

One of the key issues at stake is the termination of Medicaid coverage for more than 1.8 million residents, including about 600,000 children, since April 2023. A lawsuit filed by the Florida Health Justice Project and the National Health Law Program in August argues that Florida’s dismissal notices were confusing and did not provide adequate due process, particularly affecting disabled individuals with complex medical needs.

Another contentious issue is the eligibility rules for KidCare, a federally subsidized children’s health insurance program. The DeSantis administration has sued the federal government over rules that prevent states from kicking kids off the program if their parents stop paying premiums, citing concerns about the program’s solvency.

Additionally, the administration is facing challenges regarding the coverage of gender dysphoria treatments under Medicaid. A federal judge in Florida struck down the state’s rules against covering such treatments, but the case is ongoing in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Attorney General Ashley Moody has also opened a new case challenging the federal government’s nondiscrimination rule requiring coverage for gender dysphoria treatments.

These legal battles highlight the complex and contentious nature of Medicaid administration and the ongoing struggle between state and federal governments over healthcare policy. The outcomes of these cases could have significant implications for the healthcare coverage of vulnerable populations in Florida.

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