Gov. DeSantis’ proposed budget boosts pediatric care, cancer research, Office of Medical Marijuana UsePosted by On

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis rolled out a health care budget that could pump hundreds of millions of dollars to increase payments for treatment of complex maternal and pediatric care, as well as supply innovative cancer care and research.

DeSantis’ suggested spending plan for the fiscal year 2023-2024 directs $47.5 billion to the state’s six health and human services (HHS) related agencies. Also, it includes increases for community mental health providers, Alzheimer’s research, and providers working with young children with developmental or intellectual disabilities.

It also increases funding by $38.6 million for the Office of Medical Marijuana Use as the state struggles to keep up with a growing demand for medical marijuana. The budget shows funds will be used to hire 133 staff.

Of the $47.5 billion in this part of the state budget, $14.2 billion is in general revenue dollars. DeSantis’ proposal directs $19.3 billion in general revenue and $30.4 billion in overall spending on education from early learning through college.

The DeSantis administration admits the $47.5 billion on proposed HHS spending is artificially high. It is built on the now-outdated assumption that more than 5 million people will be in the state’s Medicaid program as of July 1.

The number of Medicaid enrollees is expected to be substantially lower as the state resumes Medicaid redeterminations beginning April 1. During the public health emergency, the state was precluded from disenrolling…

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