Officials at the Florida Hospital Association are now in the process of sorting out their options, Bruce Rueben, FHA president told HealthLeaders Media. "We want to see the coverage extended because that's the only way that the benefits of the law are going to be realized."
He noted that hospitals are contributing billions of dollars toward the coverage through cuts to hospital payments in Medicare and Medicaid. "We want to see people in Florida get the benefit of all that. Otherwise hospitals are simply going to have fewer resources to provide the same amount of uncompensated care that they have been providing."
Among the issues to be reviewed is how much power the Florida legislature will have to influence Gov. Scott's decision. "Nobody is going to change their mind before Nov. 6. Everyone is going to hold their position until we know the outcome of the elections. Then we'll sit down and begin to work with everybody."
For now, Reuben says the FHA will begin to build an economic and social case for extending Medicaid coverage. That means telling the story of Florida uninsured. According to the Urban Institute, about 1.6 million uninsured Floridian adults would be eligible for Medicaid if eligibility was expanded to 138% of the federal poverty level.