We’ve had some positive chatter about Governor Crist and the Republican-majority legislature’s health reform. Sure, they’ve got a couple of things right: lightening up on hospital Certificate of Need, permitting “mandate-lite” policies, and allowing portability between the individual and small-group markets.
But what a mess the rest of it is! While allowing individuals to buy “mandate-lite” policies, he imposes an expensive new mandate for autism treatment (similar to a bill in Pennsylvania that I have criticized.) What are they trying to do? Get private health plans to cover special education, I guess.
And even the new mandate-lite policies will have to be approved by a new bureaucracy, the Florida Health Choices Corporation. (Ain’t it interesting how nobody uses the word “Connector” anymore, after Massachusetts’ awful experience?)
Plus, there’s the increasingly popular “slacker” mandate: the law will require health plans to cover “kids” up to age 30 (12 years after they get the right to vote)! Don’t Governor Crist and his Republican legislators understand that this will make health insurance harder for those “kids” to get in their 30s, when they’re more likely to have a pre-existing condition, than if they were encouraged to buy a guaranteed-renewable individual policy in their 20s?
The Republicans had a great opportunity in Florida and they have messed it up – seriously.