Medicaid in Trouble?

By: Troy Kinsey Email
By: Troy Kinsey Email

Tallahassee, FL -

For Hope Frazier, the price tag on private health insurance is a lot more than she can afford.
But with a disability, she can't very well afford to go without care, either.

That's why she's on Medicaid, a program in the midst of a nation-wide boom. Most of her care is completely covered by the government - a much better deal than the alternative.

Frazier says, "I would just have to lay in my apartment. I mean, I wouldn't be able to go anywhere, because I don't get enough to live on it all."

With the recession costing more people their jobs, hope isn't alone. A new report by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds Medicaid enrollment here in Florida has grown by 16 percent - double the national average.

If you think the jump in enrollment now is bad, just wait for the full impact of federal health care reform.
Over the next decade, a million more Floridians will be added to the medicaid rolls, costing the state well over a billion dollars a year.

"Medicaid has become the pac-man of the Florida budget!"

Dominic Calabro with Florida Taxwatch worries the state doesn't have enough money to keep up with the growth. Short of raising taxes, he says about the only way to make ends meet is to make medicaid more efficient. Ultimately, that could mean offering fewer benefits.

Calabro says, "The way it's designed is it's not really preventative health care. It's very costly, after-the-fact health care, usually in more costly settings. So, we've got to change the very design of it."

But, tell that to people like Hope. She's happy with Medicaid exactly the way it is now. If Florida has to make sacrifices elsewhere, so be it.

Frazier says, "We don't need with the roads this and the roads that. We've lived with them this long; we can do with them for a few more years until we can get our budget straightened out."

The bottom line: something has to give, or Florida could be on the verge of a full-blown Medicaid crisis.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Jon Location: Tallahassee, FL on Oct 7, 2010 at 04:05 PM
    WE are ALL responsible for this mess. We have allowed, at times even encouraged, the government to do things like Medicaid, Disability and Food Stamps. We look at people in need and want to help, this is good. The solution though, is not more government spending, it is the local community. In the past churches and private citizens helped those in need. This doesn't happen as much any more because the Government is throwing so much money at these problems. A lot of churches even refer people to government programs. Well, the Government can only do "one size fits all" type solutions; Local churchs and other organization and private citizens can do a better job dealing with individuals and families. The various local organizations can also do a better job of holding people accountable when help is provided. Entitlement programs should be stopped COMPLETELY and the local churches etc encouraged to do what the are supposed to do, HELP THE LOCAL COMMUNITY.
  • by you misunderstood on Oct 5, 2010 at 12:32 PM
    Denise, I think the references are to people that have NEVER paid into the system and just sit back and take advantage of it...
  • by juswonderin Location: everywhere on Oct 5, 2010 at 10:20 AM
    THANK YOU OBUMA You stole from medicare to pay Medicaid,,,,more people living off the government teat
  • by Denise on Oct 5, 2010 at 10:09 AM
    Shame on you! I have a masters, and have worked for MANY years! However, I had 4 strokes and am on disability now. It never bothered me to pay for others when I could. I would hate to be part of the "thinning of the heard"!
  • by we told you on Oct 5, 2010 at 09:57 AM
    Here's another question - How come there's NEVER ENOUGH MONEY FOR SCHOOLS???? Have you ever thought we have kids in there who don't belong there. We have too many "toys" in there that don't belong there. We have Lottery, we have budgeted $, and parents are giving until IT HURTS!...and yet never enough. I'd say - the schools better back up and start teaching instead of being all things to all people. JUST TEACH.....quit being after school programs. .... quit having computers in the schools....go back to what worked in the 1950s....JUST TEACH! don't be a babysitter for mentally challenged children....don't hire teachers who can't speak proper English....and don't try to teach what isn't necessary. JUST TEACH CHILDREN HOW TO THINK. These kids "graduating" now couldn't think their way out of a paper bag. Oh yeah, they can send a text with the phone in their pocket -- but they can't THINK.
  • by Elizabeth Location: Tallahassee on Oct 5, 2010 at 09:21 AM
    to VICKY, you are not calling the right person to help you. Remember whom is RUNNING for OFFICE and call them
  • by GV Location: Ga on Oct 5, 2010 at 08:41 AM
    Tom,exactly what I was thinking and done.Anonmous,$75,000 is not very much to begin with for 6 people.
  • by GV Location: Ga on Oct 5, 2010 at 08:39 AM
    Paul,what about you and the other people who want to infict pain on poeple like me by taking food and shelter from me and my family and give to someone else?Ever thought about that,or are you one of those who expect free everything?
  • by rob Location: tally on Oct 5, 2010 at 08:29 AM
    And just think...these are the same people who want to run healthcare....can you say the bleeding of America is in full swing...thank you kool aide drinking crybabies who expect everything for free!
  • by TOM Location: MADISON on Oct 5, 2010 at 08:05 AM
    I COULD NOT AFFORD FOUR CHILDREN SO I HAD ONLY ONE.......BY DOING THIS I COULD AFFORD TO RAISE HIM WITHOUT FOOD STAMPS MEDICAID OR WELFARE......SHAME ON YOU ANONYMOUS FOR FAULTING ME FOR YOUR FINANCIAL AND FAMILY DECISIONS......IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD ALOT OF CHILDREN DON'T HAVE THEM, BUT DO NOT EVER EXPECT ME TO PAY FOR MY CHILD AND YOURS ALSO!!!!!!!!!!!!
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