Return on Disinvestment: Threadbare Mental Health System Exemplifies the Case Against Tax Cuts | Print |  E-mail
January 2016

In his proposed state budget for 2016-17, Florida Governor Rick Scott has called for another round of significant tax cuts, this time on the order of a billion dollars. He proposes these cuts at the expense of funding for essential state services that have the potential to improve the lives of countless Floridians as well as Florida's fiscal and economic bottom lines. A prime example of an area where the Governor and Legislature have starved an essential service system to the breaking point is in the area of mental health.

In the most recent recognized comparison for which Florida-specific data was available, Florida ranked second to last (50th) among the states and the District of Columbia in percapita funding for mental health services.

For a relatively small investment, the Governor and Legislature could begin to reverse the effects of systematic disinvestment in the state-supported mental health system.

> Read the report.

More Low-Income Floridians Served Through Medicaid: Context and Implications | Print |  E-mail
October 2015

Despite Florida's strict eligibility rules, enrollment in Florida Medicaid continues to increase.

Increased Medicaid enrollment means that more extremely low-income, uninsured Floridians have health coverage they could not otherwise obtain.

Beyond this, the increases coincide with the launch and increasing awareness of the federal Health Insurance Marketplace, the subsidies available through the Marketplace that make coverage affordable, and the "No Wrong Door" system that facilitates enrollment in the appropriate coverage program.   

These elements have outstripped other demographic and economic factors in terms of their impact on enrollment during the past two years, but should have a far less substantial effect going forward.

 Recent consternation in response to enrollment growth in the Medicaid program is misplaced. Rather, concern might be better focused on the high numbers of Floridians living below the poverty line, with a focus on those caught in the health care coverage gap and therefore remain uninsured. The vast majority have no hope of obtaining coverage until such time as Florida expands Medicaid as called for in the ACA.

>Read the report.

The Condition of Florida | Print |  E-mail
August 2015

Accelerated population growth has helped fuel strengthening of Florida's economy, with many measures of economic health reaching their pre-recession levels.

Economic growth has been accompanied by an increase in state revenues. Revenues have risen six consecutive years after three years of declines from 2006-07 to 2008-09, and healthy growth is projected during the next several years.  

Despite these improvements, Florida continues to rank below most other states in many measures of the well-being of its residents, including state government expenditures for services. Even though state revenues are growing, so are the needs. The funds available to invest in meeting those needs have been reduced by continued annual tax reductions totaling almost $1.5 billion over the past three years.

Read the report.

Proposed Rate Increases for Health Coverage in 2016 Likely to be Moderate, Irrelevant to What Consumers Actually Pay | Print |  E-mail
July 2015

Most Floridians who directly purchase their health coverage on the state's individual market will be enrolled in a plan proposing moderate rate increases very much in line with pre-Affordable Care Act levels.

Most importantly, under the Affordable Care Act, plan rates and consumer premiums are often two entirely distinct concepts.  Given that the majority of Florida's individual market is now comprised of consumers purchasing coverage in the federal Health Insurance Marketplace, and that 94 percent of Marketplace customers received financial assistance in the form of Advance Premium Tax Credits in 2015, it is reasonable to expect that consumers purchasing their own coverage will see at most a nominal increase in the premiums they pay. 

Furthermore, those that would face premium increases may find them reduced or eliminated by switching to a different but comparable plan during the upcoming 2016 Open Enrollment period.

Read the report

Who Are the Newly Eligible? | Print |  E-mail
June 2015

The Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange program (FHIX) proposed by the Florida Senate (as well as other coverage expansions that would qualify for full federal funding under the Affordable Care Act) would make more than a million uninsured, very low-income Floridians newly eligible for real coverage. In general, these newly eligible individuals include uninsured, non-elderly adults (i.e., ages 19 to 64) who:


  1. Have family incomes at or below 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)
  2. Do not qualify for Medicaid based on rules for the current Medicaid program or Medicare
  3. Meet other basic criteria (for example, they must be either U.S. citizens or lawfully residing immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for at least five years).


>Read the report for more characteristics of the Newly Eligible. 

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