Whether they were politically motivated or not, some seriously dangerous healthcare malfunctions that were endangering Florida children have just come to light.
With about half of all children in Florida on Medicaid in 2015, lives were thrown out of balance when, during the spring and summer, the state switched about 13,000 children out of a program called Children's Medical Services (CMS) and into other insurance programs that don't specialize in caring for extremely sick children.
This meant that children suffering from things like birth defects, heart disease, diabetes, and blindness couldn't get the help they needed.
There were several problems at play here. First off, according to medical experts, the data analysis used to transfer the children was "inaccurate" and "bizarre." Florida Department of Health nurses asked the parents of sick children a very particular question: "Is your child limited or prevented in any way in his or her ability to do the things most children of the same age can do?"—which disqualified children who were seriously ill but could still get by day to day.
"This was a truly duplicitous question," said pediatrician Dr. Philip Colaizzo. Many of his patients, he reports, were taken off CMS.
Second problem: the screening tool the state used had already been dubbed "completely invalid" and "a perversion of science" by experts in children's health. But it was still being used.
And finally, while a state administrative law judge ruled in the fall of 2015 that the Department of Health should stop using the tool, the DOH didn't automatically re-enroll many of the children into CMS.
Then there's the potential political issue: the new version of Medicaid that didn't cover these children was made up of insurance companies that gave money to the Republican party during the last election.
Luckily, the insurance process has since been corrected, so these kids can get the healthcare they need.
While the Florida DOH argues that the recent CNN article with the above allegations is "100% false," they're basing their statement on the current healthcare system—not what Florida had in place during 2015.
Meanwhile, the political element is still getting play. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King recently called for an independent investigation into the situation.