JACKSONVILLE, Florida (April 5, 2011) — As the Florida Legislature grapples with the task of charting the next course for the state’s Medicaid program, a host of factors are at play that have important financial and human impact on the state and its citizens.
In an effort to cut through some of the overheated debate, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund commissioned researchers at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute to update their previous research on the impact of the current Medicaid reform pilot program, which expires this summer, and assess the impact of federal health reforms on the state’s Medicaid program.
Their findings, which are outlined in a pair of briefing papers being released today, suggest that Legislators lack the information needed to make fully-informed decisions about expansion of Medicare reform, and that projections of the financial impact of federal health reform are significantly overstated.
These briefing papers are a followup to a two-year body of work – 2006-2008 – that documented the impact of the Medicaid managed care pilot program on beneficiaries in the pilot counties. that research resulted in the release of seven briefing papers and accompanying webcasts and presentations.
“The makeup of the Florida Legislature has changed significantly since 2008,” noted Sherry Magill, president of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, “and we thought it important to bring this research back before the new Legislators as they considered options on the future of Medicaid in Florida.
“Our concern since 2006 has been that public policymakers are asked to make decisions that have a huge impact of the state’s most vulnerable people – and on the state’s finances – without adequate research, data and information. To date, the Georgetown researchers have provided the only independent research and analysis on these issues in Florida.”
Researchers on the project are: Joan Alker, co-executive director of the Center for Children and Families at the Georgetown Health Policy Institute, and Jack Hoadley, research professor at the Health Policy Institute.
Joan Alker’s work focuses primarily on public coverage for low-income families through Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) at the state and federal levels. Her research interests include the impact of Section 1115 Medicaid waivers, the impact of cost-sharing on low-income families and the intersection of public and private coverage through premium assistance. A frequent speaker and commentator, Alker has more than 20 years of experience working on issues affecting low-income families. She holds a Master of Philosophy in politics from St. Antony’s College, Oxford University and a Bachelor of Arts with honors in political science from Bryn Mawr College.
Hoadley is a health policy analyst and political scientist with more than 25 years experience in the health policy field. He joined Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute in January 2002, where he conducts research projects on health financing topics, including Medicare and Medicaid. Hoadley received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1979. He taught political science at Duke University and at the State University of New York at Stony Brook before coming to Washington as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow in 1983-84.
The Jessie Ball duPont Fund makes grants to more than 330 eligible organizations identified by Mrs. duPont in her will. The Fund has assets of more than $281 million and has awarded $303 million in grants since 1977.
Sherry Magill, president
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