Why are these Florida leaders proud of what they’ve done with Medicaid? | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Tuesday’s letters to the editor.
Roughly 250,000 children have been terminated from the health insurance program since April, with state programs picking up only a small fraction of those.
Roughly 250,000 children have been terminated from the health insurance program since April, with state programs picking up only a small fraction of those. [ DREAMSTIME | Dreamstime ]
Published Oct. 3

Proud of themselves

We administer Fla.’s Medicaid program, and here’s what we want you to know | Column, Sept. 29

In the opinion piece by Shevaun Harris and Jason Weida, secretaries of the Florida Department of Children and Families and Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, respectively, it was evident that they are very proud of their accomplishments in administering Medicaid in Florida. I’m sure their hands were hurting from all the back-slapping going on. They were proud that the department makes up to 13 contact attempts to get the correct information. How hard is it to get all the right information in one contact? Maybe their process is much like the Department of Employment Opportunity (unemployment) fiasco during the pandemic. Unemployed Floridians were making probably up to 13 attempts to get the information to DEO in order to draw unemployment. If Harris and Weida read the Tampa Bay Times on Saturday, I’m wondering if there is more back-slapping going on, knowing they have removed 520,000 Floridians, half being children, from the Medicaid system?

Karla Leavelle, St. Petersburg

What happened to me

We administer Fla.’s Medicaid program, and here’s what we want you to know | Column, Sept. 29

This column by two state officials is typical of what is coming out of our government in Florida these days. It is so ridiculous it makes me angry. I was put on disability, right before the pandemic, because I had physical and mental disabilities that made it impossible for me to continue in my profession. Disability payments are not a haven. You get very little to live on, much less than the cost of living. And Medicaid is, in most places, a nightmare. However, I live in the country, and my Medicaid setup was actually very good. The authors claim that as many as 13 notices are sent out? I never received one. The only way I found out that I was getting kicked off Medicaid was through a surgery I was getting ready to schedule. This is a veiled attempt at saying that they are doing this in a structured way, which I believe is false. The state is just going along kicking people off, based on a timeline, because an easy way to drop them is to make them reapply and go through the whole process again. Every agency I spoke with, from Florida Medicaid officials to Supplemental Security Income (SSI), said that the only thing I was left to do was reapply again. This is how our completely Republican-controlled government in Florida operates.

Daniel Mlotkowski, Frostproof

A godsend to Biden

Biden: ‘Not much time’ to keep aid flowing to Ukraine | Oct. 2

Some GOP legislators have voiced serious concerns about continuing to supply Ukraine with billions of dollars in additional military and economic/humanitarian assistance. Beleaguered House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other Republicans want to link Ukraine aid to securing our southern border. Providing greater funding for both would present President Joe Biden with an opportunity to continue helping Ukraine defeat Vladimir Putin’s ambitions while at the same time blunting Republican criticism of his border policy and alleviating pressure on America’s cities currently being inundated by thousands of refugees fleeing poverty and gang violence in their home countries. McCarthy’s proposal would seem to be a godsend to the president. Will it be seen as such in the White House?

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Fred Kalhammer, Sun City Center

Compromise works

Threat of government shutdown ends as Congress passes funding plan | Oct. 1

Kudos to the vast majority of politicians in both parties who voted to keep the government funded for the next few weeks. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy bent over backward trying to placate a small number of infantile extremists who understand only the word “no.” A sharply divided, polarized country demands a modicum of flexibility, civility and compromise to accomplish anything. Look to Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill for examples of imperfect, often unsatisfying, but ultimately pragmatic ways of governing an unruly body politic.

Robert Potter, Seminole

What they’ve done

Gaetz: Vote McCarthy out | Oct. 2

The House Republicans vowed 10 months ago that they would only vote to fund the government by negotiating and passing 12 individual funding bills instead of an “omnibus.” They have had 10 months to attempt to govern. Instead, they have had hearings on UFOs, the supposed weaponization of government, Hunter Biden’s private photos, a manufactured revenge impeachment, the dreaded ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) investing, “wokeness” in the military, etc., and have passed only a very few of the funding bills. Ten months to try to demonstrate that they can govern. They have failed miserably. My pie-in-the-sky hope is that one day, voters will tire of people running to govern when they only plan to sow chaos if elected.

Terry R. Arnold, Treasure Island