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FL:Privatizing Medicaid Under Fire

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 By Les ColemanContact
April 28, 2011

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Basic health security for seniors, the poor and people with disabilities would be privatized under a Republican plan pending in the Florida Legislature.

Laura Goodhue, executive director of the Florida Community Health Action Information Network, takes issue with the plan, outlined in Senate Bill 1972.

"The main goal is to move all Floridians that are on Medicaid into privatized care, into privatized plan networks.

Goodhue underscores Florida's dependence on Medicaid and says a pilot program to move people into a private health maintenance organization has not received rave reviews.

"Our organization has looked at various aspects of the pilot, and our conclusion is it hasn't worked and people have really suffered."

Republican lawmakers say the measure is needed to keep the state from sinking even further into debt."

Florida state records show almost 3 million Floridians rely on Medicaid. Goodhue believes Medicaid privatization backed by Gov. Rick Scott is a bad idea, and the federal General Accounting Office says the efforts by Florida lawmakers to shut down expansion of Medicaid set for 2014 would deny coverage to millions of needy Floridians.

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