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Incoming Senate Prez Haridopolos winds up “broken Medicaid” tour

by 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.

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3 Responses to “Incoming Senate Prez Haridopolos winds up “broken Medicaid” tour”

  1. Cynical Idealist Says:

    The only thing broken is Hair-ridiculous’s leadership in the Florida senate.

    He’s a limp-wristed, vain, self-important little twit.

    He is the personification of a politician who’s only out for himself and to grab as much power as he can while forcing his extremist agenda (TABOR) down the public’s throat.

    If he had a Tea Party candidate in the race against him, Hair-ridonkulous would lose…

  2. Tim Says:

    Medicaid reform = Medicaid ending as a program!

    This guy isn’t looking to fix anything, all he wants is to throw poor people off the rolls completely.

    Republican = Heartless

  3. The Deal Says:

    Remember when the Florida Senate put insurance company execs on the stand in 03/04 and they finally copped to the fact that tort reform and jury award caps would not have an effect on rates?!?!

    If you want to save doctors money, just cap insurance rates, not court awards. These insurance companies are making massive profits. They just don’t want to pay when someone loses use of their legs for the next 60 years of their life.

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