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Gillum Says Medicaid Block Grants Will Hurt Local Governments

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum says Gov. Rick Scott should be careful asking the federal government for Medicaid block grants. The gubernatorial candidate said the city helps support local hospitals and Leon County helps fund local public health services.

“I think our governor has to be real careful about agreeing to this sort of block grant system that is insufficient in funding the need," he said. "Especially in a state like Florida with such an aging population.”

Credit Nick Evans

The federal government currently pays a percentage of all state Medicaid spending. Block grants would set federal money at a certain amount no matter how much is spent. Gillum said local hospitals would bear more of the cost of providing medical care to the poor and the uninsured.

“Ultimately somebody’s got to cover the cost," he said. "I mean, because my guess is that the resources that will come down from the federal government will be insufficient to cover what are growing expenses and growing costs.”

Scott has said block grants will give him flexibility to target the cost drivers of Florida’s Medicaid program. He said he’ll use innovation to drive down the state’s growing health care budget.

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