Florida Chamber Board of Directors Votes to Rein In Healthcare Costs, Stop the Cost Shift, and Make Florida More Competitive

March 08, 2013 | Print Print

This morning, in Tallahassee, the Florida Chamber Board of Directors met to discuss ways to reform our broken healthcare system and to seek solutions that make Florida more competitive. The Board of Directors recommendations are outlined below.

While fixing what’s wrong with America’s healthcare system was the right problem to address, the federal government chose the wrong way to approach it. Unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal healthcare law, and now Florida has the opportunity to do for Floridians what Washington politicians wouldn’t do for Americans.

Florida has a real opportunity to shift the course of the conversation by complimenting healthcare reform with cost savings and smart solutions that make Florida more competitive and put the long-term future of our state ahead of short-term political fixes.

The sobering truth is that small businesses, America’s families, taxpayers and the entire free enterprise system have been victims of unsustainable healthcare cost shifts and increases for far too long. In addition, politicians in Washington have failed to reform out-of-control entitlement programs.

Not only does Florida have the opportunity to get this right and become a model for America, Florida can lead the way by once again becoming the #1 private-sector job creator in the nation.

“The absolute best way for Florida to ensure the cost of Medicaid is reduced, is by continuing to create private-sector jobs at twice the rate as the rest of the country,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber.

To lower healthcare costs, provide more Floridians access to quality healthcare, and make Florida more competitive, this morning the Florida Chamber’s Board of Directors voted to support 11 prerequisites as conditions for accepting federal dollars via the new Medicaid option. These prerequisites will help control costs, slow the cost shift, and improve healthcare outcomes. The prerequisites are:

  1. Ensuring Florida’s Medicaid expenses do not exceed the current 32% of Florida’s budget, and over the long-term lower the percentage when possible,
  2. Conducting an annual performance review to measure quality of care, cost containment, and efficiency,
  3. Lowering costs by implementing medical liability reform,
  4. Increasing medical residency programs to encourage more physicians to practice in Florida,
  5. Including pre-med, nursing and medical technician training degree incentives as part of STEM educational programs,
  6. Implementing of Florida’s Medicaid HMO waiver which was approved in late February,
  7. Closing the drug repackaging loophole that is artificially inflating the cost of medical care in workers’ compensation claims,
  8. Developing wellness programs that reduce the cost of care through healthier living,
  9. Revisiting the expansion one year after the expiration of 100% funding for sunset if metrics are not met,
  10. Lowering costs by expanding fraud and abuse prevention measures, and
  11. Encouraging the legislature to consider every viable alternative to move new Medicaid recipients into private insurance in order to ensure the highest quality and most efficient healthcare is provided.

Some people will say we support expanding Medicaid, some will say we oppose expanding Medicaid. What matters is that the job creators of Florida have spoken with one voice – a voice that is committed to securing Florida’s future by supporting policies that will make Florida more competitive, lower healthcare costs, improve health outcomes and position Florida as America’s model of how to turn a broken system into a winning solution.

Before accepting federal funding, Florida must agree to lower the cost of healthcare, implement smart solutions that will closely monitor and evaluate quality care and savings, and direct its focus on the long-term competitiveness of our state.

The Florida Chamber Board of Directors, the advocacy team and I look forward to working with Governor Scott, the Florida Cabinet, President Gaetz, Speaker Weatherford, and members of the Florida Legislature in crafting a Florida-specific solution that creates private-sector jobs, and ultimately seeks to move Floridians off unsustainable entitlement programs and into private health insurance through competition and free enterprise solutions.

Thank you for your support. The Florida Chamber will continue to fight for your business and putting Florida’s competitiveness and the interests of Florida’s future ahead of the political agenda of out-of-state and special interest groups.

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