Recognizing Florida’s need to have more control over Medicaid spending, Florida Governor Rick Scott, and 28 other governors, signed a letter today urging Congress to reform Medicaid.
The letter was addressed to Senator Orrin Hatch, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Finance and Chairman Fred Upton, Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Governor Scott has been a leading advocate of reforming Medicaid and has repeatedly called for block grants that would give Florida more control over how Medicaid money is spent.
“We can decide how to spend the money in our state better than the federal government,” said Governor Scott. “We must be allowed the freedom of providing quality healthcare for our most vulnerable citizens while, at the same time, containing costs.”
Medicaid costs are getting out of control. More than $21 billion was appropriated for Medicaid in Florida’s most recent budget, and enrollment in the program is growing sharply. In 2007 total enrollment was 2.1 million, while enrollments for this year are expected to reach 3.2 million. That’s roughly a 50 percent increase over the last four years.
Earlier this month, Governor Scott signed a Medicaid reform bill that empowers Florida officials to operate the Medicaid program in a way that both improves health outcomes and saves significant tax dollars. Changes identified in the bill are pending federal approval.