PRESS RELEASE: Deutch Calls on Governor Rick Scott to Hold Special Session on Veterans' Access to Medicaid
(Boca Raton, FL) Today, after holding an emergency meeting on veterans' access to care with his Palm Beach County and Broward County Veterans Advisory Councils, Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-21) called on Governor Rick Scott to convene a special legislative session focused on a Medicaid expansion that will cover more than 40,000 uninsured Florida veterans. "Governor Rick Scott's lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will not actually help any of Florida's veterans get faster treatment. The VA is a federal agency in need of new resources and reforms directly from Congress, and that is why the House and Senate advanced major bipartisan legislation this week that will hire more doctors, construct new facilities, and reduce red tape for our veterans. The most significant contribution that Governor Scott can make to help Florida veterans access care is to call state lawmakers back to Tallahassee for a special session on expanding Medicaid. Florida has 41,000 uninsured, low-income veterans who are ineligible for VA benefits but would be eligible for Medicaid under an expansion that is already paid for by the federal government. While I cannot understand why extending basic coverage to a million low-income Florida workers is a political liability for this Governor, the veterans, advocates, and caregivers who joined me at today's roundtable would agree that expanding care to 41,000 veterans through Medicaid expansion would be a game changer for veterans and their families in our state." While most Americans assume that all veterans are eligible for health care through the VA, the truth is that of the two-thirds who are eligible only about a third are enrolled. Many veterans do not meet the income, length of service requirements, service-related health care issues, and other factors that determine eligibility for VA care. Nor do they make enough money to be eligible for subsidies to purchase private health insurance through the Affordable Care Act's state-based exchanges. Florida has the most veterans of any other state that has refused to expand Medicaid aside from Texas. According to a 2013 Urban Institute study, up to 41,000 Florida veterans would be eligible to receive benefits like primary care, specialist visits, prescription drugs, and mental health through Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. These veterans are among the nearly one million uninsured adults in Florida whose incomes at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level (16,104 for an individual or $27,310 for a family of three in 2014) would make them eligible under Medicaid expansion.
This document was issued by Ted Deutch and was initially posted at teddeutch.house.gov. It was distributed, unedited and unaltered, by noodls on 2014-06-13 21:37:21. The original document issuer is solely responsible for the accuracy of the information contained therein.