By Bob McClure, JMI President & CEO
Similar to the ticking time bomb at the federal level regarding entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security and their effects on the federal budget, the state of Florida has its own silent killer. It is called Medicaid, and it’s a program supposedly designed as a safety net for those who cannot get or afford healthcare. The problem is that it is swallowing up the state budget through waste, fraud and subsidized overuse to the tune of nearly 30 percent of the state budget.Fortunately, there is a solution in place. Under Jeb Bush, the Legislature passed Medicaid entitlement reform as a pilot project in a few counties around the state. What did these reforms do? They instilled market discipline on a government program, reducing costs and improving quality through (surprise) choice and competition. In simplistic terms the program acts as an HSA for those patients in pilot counties. This program must be expanded statewide. When it is successfully implemented in a bellwether state like Florida, it will have all kinds of national implications for federal entitlement programs.For more information, check out JMI’s work on Healthcare Reform.