GOP Moves To Permanently Restrict Access to Medicaid For Florida Seniors And Disabled

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Tallahassee, Fla. — Yesterday, a Florida Senate panel on health voted to permanently eliminate the federally mandated 90-day Medicaid enrollment period for Florida seniors and the disabled. While federal law requires a 90-day period so seniors and disabled can access Medicaid after an accident or serious illness, the Trump Administration has made sure Floridians will have a harder time getting the coverage they need. The administration granted a waiver in 2018 and now Republicans want to make it permanent. 

This means that Florida’s seniors and the disabled have to enroll in Medicaid in the same month after a major health problem to receive access to coverage, while Americans in states without a waiver get 90 days of retroactive Medicaid coverage.

Terrie Rizzo, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, said, “Republicans are punishing Florida’s seniors and disabled.”

Rizzo continued, “Permanently eliminating the standard enrollment period means Florida seniors and people with disabilities can only get Medicaid assistance that starts the same month they enroll, while other Americans get 90 days of retroactive Medicaid coverage. Why do Donald Trump and Florida Republicans believe seniors and people with disabilities in the Sunshine State deserve less than other Americans?

Republicans have worked to restrict access to health care for Floridians and nationally have advocated for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act including challenging it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. While Democrats are working to expand health care access in the Sunshine State with Representative Cindy Polo in the House and Leader Gary Farmer, Senator Annette Taddeo, and Senator Lori Berman in the Senate sponsoring an amendment to expand Medicaid access.

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Florida Democrats believe in effective and efficient government that prioritizes quality education, affordable health care, and an economy in which anyone who works hard can succeed.

Most importantly, we believe that we are stronger together. We believe the fundamental American promise — that you can go as far as your own hard work will take you — should shine brightest in Florida.

That is why we champion the middle class and cherish the principle that all Floridians should have the opportunity to work hard and succeed. That is why we will never stop fighting for better public schools, because education is the surest path to a better life for millions.

From standing for affordable health care and better schools to fighting for civil rights and access to the ballot box, Florida Democrats are leading every day to move our state forward.

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