Monday, December 7, 2015

Florida purges 9,000 children from state medical system

Posted By on Mon, Dec 7, 2015 at 2:16 PM

  • Photo by via Flickr
An investigation by the Miami Herald shows Florida cut 9,000 children from the state's Children's Medical Services program through a screening process to reduce costs. 

Reporter Carol Marbin Miller follows the story of Aref Shabaneh, a 6-year-old who is almost completely blind and was declared ineligible for the taxpayer-funded healthcare program: 

"Aref is among about 9,000 Florida children who have been purged from Children’s Medical Services since May as part of a wholesale reorganization of the program in conjunction with a new state law. The law, passed in 2011, changed CMS from a Medicare-like fee-for-service plan, where the child goes to a doctor and the insurer pays the bill, into state-run managed care, in which the state sets aside a pot of money — which is capped — and hires insurers to divvy it up.

The overhaul of CMS is a story about rationing of services for children who are poor and disabled, a long tradition in Florida. It is about the malleable nature of words like “moratorium,” and about numbers on a balance sheet. It is also about individuals represented by those numbers — kids like Aref." 

Read the complete story here

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