Governor Ron DeSantis vetoes $14.5 million in health care spending


Gov.Ron DeSantisit has not placed any deep or sweeping vetoes on health care projects as part of the nearly $511 million in spending items in the new state budget.

DeSantis vetoed $14.55 million directly from the health care portion of the new $116.5 billion budget, with the largest single item being eliminated from that nearly $3 million section to a simulation modeling program from the University of South Florida designed to reduce opioid overdose. The modeling program was promoted by the St. Petersburg senator.Darryl Rouson.

Many of the other vetoed items were directed at local projects.

Representative.Michele Rayner-Goolsby he is a St. Petersburg democrat who was vetoed on two projects. DeSantis vetoed $1.15 million for the Well Center for Trauma Recovery Wellness and HealingJustice, which establishes a single point of contact for survivors of violent crimes and their families, and $180,960 to mitigate flood issues at the ‘Operation PAR, a licensed residential substance use treatment program specifically for pregnant women and parents.


“The decision to veto these projects not only ignores the needs of many Floridians, it also targets people of color and brown, who are often more likely to experience violent crime and substance use disorders. These cuts fail to recognize the long-term benefits and cost savings such initiatives would offer our community,” she said in a prepared statement.

Goolsby is one of DeSantis’s most vocal critics in the house. In the statement he urged lawmakers “to reaffirm our commitment to provide comprehensive services and care to survivors of violent crime and support pregnant and parenting women in their journey to recovery.”

DeSantis also vetoed the $20 million academic STEM nursing facility on the USF Sarasota Manatee campus that was a priority for the Republican Senator from Bradenton. Jim Boyd and Rep. Will Robinson.

The Governor also eliminated funding for projects at three private colleges associated with training health care professionals.

The Governor’s decision to lightly trample health care budget vetoes means Medicaid rate hikes for many health care providers participating in the Health Safety Net program.

This budget funds a much-needed Medicaid rate hike for behavioral health services, the largest increase in decades, and a one-time expense of more than $90 million for community short-term housing and additional infrastructure expansions. These investments will have an immediate impact by increasing access to behavioral health care statewide,” Florida Behavioral Health Association President and CEO Melanie Brown Wooftersaid in a statement. “The budget also increases funding for Florida’s central shelter system, significantly strengthening and expanding the critical entry point for individuals and families going through a crisis, giving them instant access 24/7 out of 7 to life-saving treatments”.

Lawmakers also allocated $385 million to support prevention and treatment services responding to the opioid epidemic. Much of this funding came from proceeds from Florida’s deals with pharmaceutical companies and others.


The new budget, which goes into effect July 1, also includes $2 million in recurring revenue for a dental student loan program and donated dental services remained intact. TThe dental loan program encourages dentists to practice in public health programs and to serve low-income patients in rural and underserved areas.

With this investment, Florida dentists can begin helping thousands of patients in need through these two programs this year, Florida Dental Association PresidentDr.said Gerald Bird.

The budget also includes increases in reimbursement rates for children’s physicians and hospitals treating low-income children in the state. Some of the benefactors of that increase include Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami and Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville and they released a joint statement thanking the lawmaker and the governor.

“This funding will have a significant impact in helping address the Medicaid shortage in these hospitals and ensure that all children can continue to access this critically specialized pediatric treatment,” the statement noted.

The budget also includes increased funding for access to Florida KidCare, the subsidized children’s health insurance program, and includes an increase in nursing home reimbursement rates.

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