In addition to shifting nearly all Medicaid patients to HMOs and other managed care, the Senate’s proposal would cap spending, require plans to bid for business and impose $100 fees on patients who abuse the emergency room.
Even though Florida faces a big budget hole, Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said Tuesday the state will forfeit a $1 million federal grant that was supposed to go toward better oversight of health insurance rates.
Florida Republican lawmakers are reviving a proposed constitutional amendment that takes aim at a major part of the federal health overhaul. The proposal, if ultimately approved by voters during the 2012 elections, is aimed at allowing Floridians to opt out of a federal requirement that they buy health insurance or face financial penalties.
Florida Republican leaders said Tuesday they want to overhaul the Medicaid program and don’t want the federal government tying their hands. But their message may fall on deaf ears in Washington.
When it comes to health care, the Florida governor’s race offers voters a clear choice. Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Alex Sink disagree on hot-button issues from abortion to Medicaid.
Florida Health Choices, a deregulated health-insurance market for small businesses, is two years old and still not selling any products. It would be well-positioned to develop into the exchange called for under the new federal law. But that would require political and philosophical compromises that its leaders may not be willing to make.