The Senate? top health-budget writer fired back Wednesday night at House opposition to a plan that would funnel more money to physicians who treat Medicaid patients, reports the News Service of Florida. Senate budget negotiators released a revised proposal to increase Medicaid rates by $243.7 million for primary-care physicians. That was lower than a $338 million Senate proposal earlier in the day. But House negotiators balked at increasing the payment rates, linking the issue to the House? refusal to carry out last year? federal health-care overhaul. That federal law calls for similar physician-rate increases in 2013 and 2014. Negron, however, said many doctors do not want to treat Medicaid patients because of low rates. He said the Senate has long wanted increases — regardless of the federal law. ?e?e been talking about this for a long time before that,? Negron said. The physician issue is one of several major differences between the House and Senate as they try to agree on a health and human-services budget. Senate negotiators tinkered Wednesday night with one of those issues — slightly reducing a proposal to slash funding for adult mental-health programs. But House Health Care Appropriations Chairman Matt Hudson, R-Naples, made clear that negotiating teams might not be able to resolve the major differences. If that is the case, top House and Senate leaders would have to negotiate the issues, which also include cutting nursing-home and hospital Medicaid rates and potentially cutting the Medically Needy program. ?? not sure, quite honestly, where we?e going to get on some of these big substantive items,?Hudson said.
Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.