Florida hospitals are closely watching how the state goes about implanting the federal healthcare law. More specifically, they want state lawmakers to expand Medicaid coverage to more Floridians. The hospitals say the benefits of expanding Medicaid outweigh the costs.
According to the Florida Hospital Association, Floridians were left with a $3 billion tab for treating uninsured people last year. That’s why the hospitals want state lawmakers to extend Medicaid coverage. The Association’s President Bruce Reuben says uncompensated care amounts to a hidden tax on businesses and people who are insured.
“That is why it’s so important for these people to get insurance coverage. Because the hidden tax would be taken out of the cost of care for everybody else," he said.
Uncompensated care is handled two ways: people with insurance pay higher rates, and hospitals can receive some payment through state and federal programs. But many of those programs are being cut under the Affordable Care Act, because the federal government expected states to expand Medicaid programs and get more paying customers into the system.