As Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature look to pin down responsibility for the state’s rising health care costs for the poor and uninsured, they should look in the mirror. It’s not the hospitals, which are their favorite target. It’s the Medicaid managed care system they created that is costing money rather than saving money. It’s their refusal to accept billions in federal dollars to subsidize health coverage for more low-income Floridians. And it’s their failure to create an economy that produces enough good-paying jobs that offer private insurance that employees can afford.
The latest projections show the state’s Medicaid costs will rise another $593 million next year, eating up more than 44 percent of the state’s anticipated new revenue created by the recovering economy. And that trend is going to continue. Budget forecasters say that over the next three years, rising Medicaid costs will suck up nearly half of the additional revenue, leaving less to invest in public education and other areas.
– Tampa Bay Times