FL HMOs win in Medicaid bill

Miami Herald, April 15, 2011
More HMOs. Less care for transplant patients. Lawsuit limitations. The Medicaid reform bill passed Thursday along party lines in the Florida Senate's budget committee is so loaded with controversy that parts of it won't pass the Florida House. Or the federal government, which pays for most than half the program, could reject the plan entirely. Like a House bill, the Senate plan seeks to reduce long-term costs by turning over nearly all of the management of the system to HMOs and other managed-care companies throughout the state. At stake: $22 billion in spending and a health system that will soon oversee 3 million Floridians. Sen. Joe Negron, the plan's architect, said more than two-thirds of Medicaid patients are already in managed care, which shouldn't be a dirty word.

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