Monday, May 23, 2011

Revolutionary Idea in Fla: Medicaid recipients should help with premiums

Why..."this is OUTRAGEOUS," all the poverty pimps will say!! We must assume all poor people are emotionally and intellectually frail and unable to act like big boys and girls.

Florida wants to be the first state in the nation to charge most of its Medicaid recipients a monthly premium as well as $100 for using the ER for routine care. But even supporters acknowledge that the new fees, which the state legislature passed recently as part of a sweeping Medicaid measure, face long odds of getting federal approval.

Today, four states - Illinois, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin - have Medicaid premiums. But those fees, in accordance with federal law, apply only to people who make more than 150 percent of the federal poverty level - $16,335 annually for an individual or $33,525 for a family of four.

Florida, however, wants to impose the $10 monthly premium on all Medicaid enrollees who aren't in nursing homes. At least two-thirds of Medicaid recipients in Florida, and in the U.S. as a whole, have incomes of less than 150 percent of the poverty level, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Kaiser Health News is a program of the foundation.)