Incoming Senate Prez Haridopolos winds up “broken Medicaid” tourby Dara Kam | August 6th, 2010
Senate President-to-be Mike Haridopolos wrapped up a three-day tour of Florida highlighting one of his priorities when he takes over the chamber in November: a total overhaul of the state Medicaid system, which he calls broken.
Haridopolos toured cities from Miami to Tallahassee by bus, flanked by GOP Senate leaders Don Gaetz of Niceville and Joe Negron of Stuart, as well as Haridopolos’ wife Stephanie, a family practice doctor in their Melbourne hometown.
It’s not unusual for new chamber leaders to travel around the state to pump themselves up before taking the helm.
Former Senate President Ken Pruitt made a sweep of Florida in a little yellow school bus championing the Bright Futures scholarship for two years before taking over the chamber in 2006.
Haridopolos wants the federal government to approve a Medicaid waiver for Florida that would allow the state to place all of the state’s 2.7 million Medicaid recipients into managed care. It’s unlikely that Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration would approve such a maneuver, especially given Haridopolos’ and crew’s repeated bashing of federal health care reforms and their support for Attorney General Bill McCollum’s lawsuit against the White House regarding the new health care law.
Expect a major component of Haridopolos’ Medicaid revamp to include tort reform.
He told reporters today that a major problem for Medicaid providers such as hospitals is the high cost of medical malpractice insurance.
“What we’ve consistently heard during these round table discussions is that doctors who have protections against malpractice lawsuits have the ability to deliver a higher quality of care to their patients,” Haridopolos said.