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June 4 2015

Market-based Health Care Reforms Are Working in Florida

Carrie L. Lukas

Conservatives know that being against ObamaCare and government-controlled medicine isn’t enough.  We have to be able to offer a vision for a better health care system, which protects those with pre-existing conditions, enables those with low-incomes to afford quality care, and allows average families to get the care they need as reasonable prices. 

Conservatives have offered numerous comprehensive health care reform proposals that would do just that, although these plans are often overlooked or flat-out dismissed by the press.

Conservatives may have more luck highlighting conservative health care reforms that are already succeeding.  As John Goodman writes in Real Clear Policy, Medicaid reforms advanced under Republican governors in Florida offer just such an opportunity: 

Under Governor Bush's leadership, Florida began giving Medicaid recipients some of the benefits of choice and competition. More than half of those eligible joined the private-sector program, and about 70 percent of those enrolled make an active choice of a plan each year. Plans are allowed to modify benefits and add on additional benefits. They can charge copayments for services, and these differ quite a lot from plan to plan. The recipients receive counseling, have access to a nurse hotline, and are rewarded for healthy behaviors with contributions to a personal Health Saving Account.

The Florida demonstration project began with two counties in 2006 and expanded to three more the following year. Under Governor Rick Scott, the state has now received a federal waiver to go statewide. Although critics may never be satisfied, a peer-reviewed study by University of Arizona economists Michael Bond and Emily Patch suggests success on all fronts: lower costs, higher quality, and greater access to care.

…The economists conclude that the expansion of "privately administered Medicaid health and drug plans statewide has the potential for substantial savings to Florida taxpayers and better care for the poor and disabled."

Americans don’t like ObamaCare and know that it is making our health care problems worse, not better.  Yet many seem not to understand that an alternative solution exists.  We need to show that there is an alternative, and that market-based health care reforms can work and in fact are already working in places where they have been tried. 

 

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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