Fla. Lawmakers Poised to Privatize Medicaid Statewide

By: AP
By: AP

MIAMI (AP) --

Gov. Rick Scott and Republican legislators want to expand a Medicaid privatization experiment statewide.

They say Florida must overhaul Medicaid as costs are expected to
top $21 billion next year. They plan to push a privatization bill
through the Legislature during its upcoming session, which begins
March 8.

Critics complain the privatization experiment in five counties
hindered patients' access to specialists and medications. Doctors
complained HMOs refused tests and medicine they prescribed.

The Senate's proposal would raise the Medicaid reimbursement
rate for primary care doctors. Backers hope that would increase
doctor participation.

Advocates say privatization would ensure people get preventive
care because HMOs must pay their hospital costs.


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