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Florida Medicaid: Will Floridians pay more taxes?

Proposed new budgets of Florida Medicaid and Nursing Home funds

The state of Florida is in financial distress and the government is trying to find ways to make budget cuts across the board which could include Florida Medicaid. Many cuts have been proposed and it will be necessary for these cuts for some services to remain in effect. The big question is whether Florida residents will be willing to pay more in taxes to keep current services from being lost.
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Florida Medicaid: Would Floridians pay more to preserve services like Medicaid?

Many things are not as easy as they first seem and the opposite is also true. Some complicated issues can be dealt with easily when there is the ambition to make things happen. The budgeting process of the government is one of those latter situations. This situation has become a flash point in recent months and the result has been reduced revenue. In addition the electorate has become less tolerant of the things that many people see as wasteful spending.
Governor Rick Scott has recently proposed a new budget and public officials are now discussing the proposal which will cut $3.6 billion from the state budget in Florida.
In Sarasota, school officials are talking about cuts that could range between $22 million to $29 million. With this cut, support services will be eliminated and enrichment and social programs will take a back burner. Teacher pay will also be affected by these cuts.
There comes a point in time when choices have to be made and some people will have to take resources from one area to cover the costs in another. This is a part of life and it affects every person in every industry around the world. The question is whether residents of Florida are willing to pay more money to taxes in order to prevent the loss of services.
The answer is likely no. However, it is possible for the public to be persuaded when a case is made for real need. The problem is that too many people in Florida already believe that the government is wasteful. Many people are angered when they hear of the benefit packages that are available to government workers. As a result, very few people are willing to pay an increased tax that will fund public pensions that exceed what is available to people in the private sector.
This is where it all comes down to a final choice. Will taxpayers be willing to pay more to continue receiving services they deem essential? They may agree to do so if they are ensured that their money is being used effectively and efficiently. Unfortunately, Floridians do not put much faith in elected officials and their abilities to govern.

Florida Medicaid & Nursing Home Funds could be Curtailed

Several officials who are involved in health care have spoken about the possibilities that could result from Florida Medicaid and nursing home care funds or funds for the medically needy are curtailed.
A skilled nursing care center called the Pines of Sarasota currently receives funds from Florida Medicaid. Medicaid covers the cost for more than 75% of the patients at the nursing home. Statewide, Medicaid is paying for 63% of all nursing home patients. Even though there has been an increase in the aging population in Florida, the Florida Medicaid funding for elder care has dropped dramatically from 19 percent in 2000 to only 14 percent in 2010.
Steve Queior, the president of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce stated that there are dangers associated with making these cuts. When services like health care, nursing home care, law enforcement and education are compromised, the economic development feels a negative impact. Smaller government is rarely questioned by business representatives.
While this topic is highly debated, not many people wanted to discuss increasing taxes. Some residents are pointing out that is may be time for the government to learn how to live within its means. With the proposed growth of the aging population in Florida, the Florida Medicaid budgets will also grow. This means that other resources may have to be cut in order to continue providing Florida Medicaid to the thousands of elderly residents across the state.
by Dave Henderson (Medicaid Consultant: Sarasota, FL)
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