A million Floridians will now be eligible for Medicaid––the Obama administration is happy about that.
Republican Rick Scott gets to do it his way––in an almost entirely private market.
This from today’s Tampa Bay Times:
His [Scott's] endorsement of the expansion came hours after the federal government agreed to grant Florida a conditional waiver to privatize Medicaid statewide for the state’s more than 3 million current recipients, more than half of which are children or people under age 21.
Scott has agreed to only a three year trial expansion and the legislature must vote in favor of it––not a certainty. And, the Obama administration is taking some big risks––a five county trial of Scott’s privatization program has had lots of problems.
In prior posts I have said that Republican governors, so adamantly opposed to “Obamacare,” ought to go to Washington and negotiate a deal on Medicaid expansion. If they believe they can manage Medicaid better than the traditional federal route, which is what they claim every time they demand block grants, then they should put a deal on the table. Ultimately, the feds will pay 90% of costs and the state will pay 10% of the cost of the expansion. The Republican governors don’t believe they can save 10% if given more flexibility?
Scott did that.
But other leading Republican governors like Rick Perry of Texas, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and Sam Brownback of Kansas continue to be bullheaded about it and millions of people are not going to have health insurance because if it.
Scott has now proved an important point.
The Obama administration will deal.
Now, what’s their excuse?
Robert Laszewski has been a fixture in Washington health policy circles for the better part of three decades. He currently serves as the president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates of Alexandria, Virginia. You can read more of his thoughtful analysis of healthcare industry trends at The Health Policy and Marketplace Blog, where this post first appeared.