Florida purges 9,000 children from state medical system

Florida purges 9,000 children from state medical system
Photo by Myfuture.com 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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