Medicaid reform, Obamacare not linked in state's talks with feds

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As Florida negotiates for federal approval of a proposal to overhaul the Medicaid program, officials have not linked the issue to the state’s handling of the Affordable Care Act, state Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Liz Dudek told legislative committees this week.

Dudek’s agency is seeking approval of a proposal that ultimately would lead to almost all Medicaid beneficiaries enrolling in managed-care plans. At the same time, questions are swirling about whether the state will carry out key parts of the Affordable Care Act, which is widely known as “Obamacare.”

Those questions center on issues such as whether Florida will create a health-insurance exchange that is required by the law or let the federal government run the exchange for the state. Gov. Rick Scott last month sent a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that requesting a meeting about the Affordable Care Act and other health-care issues — including pressing for approval of the Medicaid changes.

But AHCA has not linked the issues in its discussions with federal officials, Dudek said. “We have not brought it up, and the feds have not brought it up,” she told the Senate Health Policy Committee on Wednesday.

Via the News Service of Florida.

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.