Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Leaving Money on the Table and Kids Uninsured

In a story in today's Orlando Sentinel, we get the following intertwined pieces of information:
Florida ranks 43rd in the country when it comes to children's health-insurance coverage, said Dr. Edward Zissman, chief executive officer of Altamonte Pediatric Associates.
And from the same source, there is this:
Last year, Florida returned $20 million in 2005 federal matching dollars because it did not enroll enough children.

The federal grant matches 71 cents for every 29 cents the state spends, said Tara Klimek, a spokeswoman for state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink. Since 1998 the state has returned $140 million, she said.
What can be done about this abysmal situation? State Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando, has an idea. Randolph called on Gov. Charlie Crist to include KidCare reform in next month's special session.
"We've got to put this on the calendar or face losing federal matching dollars," Randolph said. "For every dollar we refuse to put in . . . we send $3 back to Washington."
The US House of Representatives recently passed an expansion of the SCHIP program. However, Florida's Republican Representatives voted against this bill. The DCCC responded by launching radio ads targeting these Roadblock Republicans. At least one of the targets, Old Bill Young, did not take kindly to being targeted. Bill Young
angrily pointed to a new radio ad campaign this week by Democrats accusing him of opposing increased benefits in Medicare for seniors.
Maybe Charlie Crist will have a more temperate response to the health care needs of Florida's children?

2 comments:

the Practical Blue said...

Our legislature throws money away, like we have it spare in the current budget crisis. But Republicans can always find extra for their pet projects.

I am tired of citizens losing out on federal funds for health care, transportation projects and other necessary services. We need to prioritize places where we need the services and can get the most for our investment (ie. a dollars worth for every $0.29 we put in).

We need to have more balance in our state legislature to get elected officials who remember they are their to serve us, not their next career goal.

Sheree said...

I'd like to know how many $$$ the state sends back to the feds for law enforcement...my guess is not one red cent.