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.