Speaking at a Florida State Capitol news conference today, the Coalition to Heal Healthcare in Florida, Inc. came together to express their concerns about a new round of devastating cuts to Medicaid proposed by the Florida Legislature.
The Coalition of patients, health care professionals and advocates including Susie Busch Transou, co-owner of Tri Eagle Sales and a member of the Board of Trustees at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, spoke to members of the media to deliver the Coalition’s overarching message, “No More Cuts.”
The Senate Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services Appropriations voted yesterday to recommend a $620 million cut. This includes general revenue and federal matching dollars effective July 1, 2012. This type of cut will significantly threaten services and disrupt access for all Floridians.
“Our state’s hospitals cannot withstand anymore cuts and expect to provide the same level of quality that we do today,” said Busch-Transou. “Additional cuts will mean hospitals like mine, Tallahassee Memorial, will be forced to make some very difficult decisions.”
The Coalition argues that the proposed cuts will have a detrimental effect on patients’ access to care. As Medicaid funding decreases, many services will no longer be available to them. As a result, those patients will either not get the health care they need or will have no choice but to go to the emergency department, further clogging already-crowded hospital emergency rooms.
The Coalition is calling on the legislature to protect funding for Medicaid and to consider the impacts to access to health care for all Floridians.
Earlier this week, the Coalition announced its campaign which features a website and a 30-second TV spot, “Waiting in Line”. The commercial is currently airing in Tallahassee this week.
Coalition members at today’s news conference included representatives from Florida Council on Aging; Florida Impact; Florida Physical Therapy Association; Florida Child Healthcare Coalition; Florida CHAIN; Florida Legal Services; Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, Baptist Jacksonville and Brooks Rehabilitation.