News Service of Florida – Gov. Ron DeSantis last week joined 24 other Republican governors in asking President Joe Biden to end a COVID-19 emergency declaration that has helped lead to a surge in enrollment in Florida’s Medicaid program.
The governors sent a letter that urged Biden to allow a federal “public health emergency” to expire in April. The emergency declaration was initially issued in 2020 and has been repeatedly extended.
The letter said it has been extended until at least Jan. 11, though states believe it will be extended to April because they have not received notification that it will end.
“We ask that you allow the PHE (public health emergency) to expire in April and provide states with much needed certainty well in advance of its expiration,” the letter said.
Medicaid is jointly funded by state and federal governments. During the emergency, the federal government has increased its share of the tab by 6.2 percentage points through a formula known as the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage.
But at the same time, state Medicaid programs have not been able to drop beneficiaries who might otherwise be ineligible for coverage. That has helped swell Medicaid rolls in Florida and other states.
For example, Florida had about 3.76 million people enrolled in Medicaid in March 2020, when the pandemic slammed into the state.
In November 2022, it had nearly 5.58 million people enrolled, according to data posted on the state Agency for Health Care Administration website …
Other governors signing the letter were from:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.