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As lawmakers weigh disability program redesign, DeSantis and Galvano provide few specifics

hand dropping ballot card into vote box

Florida lawmakers are expected to vote early next year on how to modify a troubled statewide Medicaid program that serves tens of thousands of people with disabilities, but some of the state’s top leaders say they are still undecided on what those changes should be, report Tampa Bay Times.

The outcome could change how much the program, known as “iBudget,” provides for about 34,500 Floridians through the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities, as well as another 21,900 more on a waiting list to join the program.

Both Gov. Ron DeSantis and Senate President Bill Galvano said Tuesday at the annual “AP Day” press session for reporters that how to redesign the Medicaid waiver program is still under review. But they did not commit to recommendations made by APD and its sister health agency calling for more funding to the program as well as changes to better predict its future costs. House Speaker José Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, who leads the legislative chamber that has historically pushed efforts to change the agency, declined to appear at the session.

“It’s been a tough issue fiscally, but I think it’s an issue where some of these folks are in pretty bad shape and we have a responsibility to do what we can,” DeSantis acknowledged. But he added he remained “very open about the best way forward.”