Friday, January 14, 2005

State Medicaid Watch: Florida

Yesterday's New Dem Daily had this article on Florida Governor Jeb Bush's proposed private-block-grant approach to Medicaid. The key graf:

But though Governor Bush's plan, dubbed "Empowered Care," is packaged to reflect these reform principles, its main thrust is actually retrograde: abandoning any strong public role in designing benefits other than writing checks to private health plans for whatever they decide to offer within three broad categories of coverage, and for whomever they decide to cover. As Bush himself admits in referring to the plan as replacing a "defined benefits" with a "defined contributions" philosophy, "Empowered Care" would in effect turn Medicaid into a block grant from the federal and state governments to private plans, not only abandoning the program's basic safety net function, but also potentially encouraging insurers to "cherry-pick" the healthiest and least expensive beneficiaries.


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