Judge Dismisses Florida’s Attempt to Take Down New Federal Coverage Protection for Children

A federal court in Tampa dismissed the state of Florida’s legal challenge to the Biden Administration’s implementation of a new provision of federal law guaranteeing 12 months of continuous coverage in the Children’s Health Insurance Program – denying the state’s request for a preliminary injunction and, more importantly, dismissed the case from his courtroom. The new protection for children was enacted by Congress in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023. Florida had challenged the Biden Administration’s interpretation of the law and sought to have one aspect of the new protection brought down for the entire country.

The following is a statement by Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families at the McCourt School of Public Policy in response to this ruling:

“The judge’s ruling is good news for children in working families in Florida and across the country who benefit from access to affordable health coverage through CHIP. The actions of the DeSantis Administration over the last year have shown a callous disregard for children. The state has disenrolled hundreds of thousands of children losing Medicaid coverage during the unwinding, many of whom likely remain eligible, AND Florida appears to be the only state that has kicked off thousands of children from CHIP in contravention of the new federal law that went into effect January 1, 2024.

Instead of using its limited time and resources to prevent its children from becoming uninsured, the state of Florida chose to go to court to bring down a federal protection for children to retain their coverage – not just in Florida but nationwide. Fortunately, the court rejected this effort and the state must now turn its attention to complying with federal law as soon as possible and getting Florida’s delayed Healthy Kids expansion up and running.”

Read the Full Ruling Here

Interested in reading more about this case? Check out Joan Alker‘s and Edwin Park‘s previous posts on this lawsuit.

Joan Alker is the Executive Director of the Center for Children and Families and a Research Professor at the Georgetown McCourt School of Public Policy.