Has Rick Scott been drafted to fight in the “war” Richard Corcoran has declared on the healthcare industry?
The governor said in a press release on Tuesday that if the Legislature cannot adjourn on time with a budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year he will create a “Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding.”
The commission, Scott said in the release, will examine the revenues of Florida hospitals, insurance and healthcare providers and “how any taxpayer money contributes to the profits or losses of these institutions in Florida.”
Scott said that a “thoughtful analysis” will guide the state during a special session and “aid in the development” of the fiscal year 2016-17 budget. The governor also said that the analysis can help prepare the state for the loss of Low Income Pool funding if the federal government declines the amendment request before October.
Kaiser Health News reported in March that Jackson Memorial Health System in Miami finished its second consecutive year with a about a $51 million surplus on about $1 billion in revenue “in part,” the story reads, “as a result of increased sales tax revenue going to the health system and tighter expense management.”
Other findings in the March 4, 2015 Kaiser Health News story include:
- Broward Health, which runs four hospitals, saw $69 million in the 2014 fiscal year that ended June 30
- Orlando Health, a six-hospital system in Central Florida, had a $161 million profit, up from $32 million the year before
- Tampa General posted a $49 million profit in 2014, up from $31 million the previous year
There is a $4 billion-plus difference between the House and Senate’s proposed spending plans due mostly to healthcare financing and the loss of $2 billion in supplemental Medicaid funds used to help offset the costs of the uninsured, called the Low Income Pool. The Senate budget proposes maintaining the LIP program and in doing so also contains a Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.
The House budget eliminates the Low Income Pool and also does not include any Medicaid expansion. As the days have passed neither chamber has backed off its position.
During debate on the budget House Appropriations Chairman Corcoran invited the Florida Senate to drop its position on Medicaid financing and LIP and instead to “come to war” with the House and take on the “Gucci-loafing, shoe-wearing special interest powers” that are responsible for Florida’s broken healthcare system.
This wouldn’t be the first time Scott has created a commission to examine what he likes to call “taxpayer supported” hospitals. Scott issued an executive order in 2012 creating a commission.
The first commission, however, did not examine insurance companies or healthcare providers.