Florida Advisory Panel Makes Recommendations To Enroll, Retain Children In KidCare

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An advisory panel created by Florida CFO Alex Sink on Monday maderecommendations to help enroll more children in KidCare and retainthose already enrolled, the AP/St. Petersburg Timesreports. The panel said that parents who work for large employersshould be allowed to pay KidCare premiums through automatic paycheckdeductions. The panel also suggested a change regarding when parentsenrolling children should begin to pay premiums.

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The Timesnotes that "several different agencies all have pieces of the KidCareprogram," and while "[p]utting it all together under one roof wouldhelp," that step would require legislative intervention. The advisorypanel sought recommendations that could be implemented without changingthe law (AP/St. Petersburg Times, 7/31).

Some lawmakers want changes made to the program during a special session in September, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinelreports. However, the state is facing budget shortfalls, and Gov.Charlie Crist (R) said that undertaking efforts to overhaul the programand increase spending in the absence of legislative consensus "would bekinda foolish."

Rose Naff, executive director of Florida HealthyKids --which oversees KidCare -- said that the state Legislature should waitfor the outcome of SCHIP reauthorization pending in Congress beforemaking changes to KidCare (Hollis, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 7/28).
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