Florida: Governor Announces Possibility of Special Session to Complete State Budget

The Florida House abruptly adjourned its session early today due to extreme policy differences between budgets introduced in the House and Senate, reports The Miami Herald. The House and Senate are at odds over the continuation of the uncompensated care Low Income Pool (LIP) funding and Medicaid expansion. Earlier, Governor Rick Scott (R) announced his intent to convene a special session to finalize the 2015-2016 State budget, should the House and Senate fail to compromise during the current session; in advance, the Governor will gather a Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding "to examine the revenues of Florida hospitals, insurance and healthcare providers and how any taxpayer money contributes to the profits or losses of these institutions in Florida." Governor Scott has announced he will bar conversations about LIP funding in the special session until the federal government responds to a request the State intends to submit to extend the funding through 2017. Instead, Governor Scott is asking legislators to focus on services like education, law enforcement, children’s services and transportation.

Ohio: House Budget Includes Transfer of Certain Medicaid Authority

By a vote of 63-36, the Ohio House passed a $131.6 billion budget plan for FY 2016-2017, which supports a continuation of Medicaid expansion and related federal funding, but transfers the authority to set Medicaid eligibility levels from the Medicaid Director to the legislature. The House also directs the Medicaid Department to seek federal approval to require almost all Medicaid enrollees to make contributions to a health savings account, in contrast to the Governor’s proposal to require only Medicaid expansion adults with incomes above 100% of the federal poverty level to pay premiums. The bill, now under review in the Senate, must be finalized by the end of June before going to the Governor.