"Even if you happen to have residency programs that are funded from the federal government through [the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] that funding is only based on the proportion of your admissions that are Medicare, so you never get full funding. You are always short in resident salaries and expenses when you are involved in medical education," Portoghese says.
With few other funding sources, Portoghese says many hospitals simply absorb the cost of training the next generation of physicians. "But it certainly would be helpful to us and society at large if others stepped up and helped fund the costs of training new doctors for our society. That is what this does."
Let's be clear: The $80 million for the GME expansion doesn't come close to covering the massive loss in federal funding that the Medicaid expansion would have brought to Florida. Beyond the issue of improving access to care, hospitals and the healthcare sector are among the biggest economic drivers in any community and the loss of this much money will most certainly hurt the larger state economy. It makes no sense economically because it was a political decision.
But at this point, Florida residents who support funding for healthcare have to take the good news where we can get it, and in increments of any size.