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Florida Chamber pushes cuts in health insurance rates, part of Medicaid expansion

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As the Senate Health Policy Committee prepared to pass a Medicaid expansion on Tuesday, Florida Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Wilson advised his association couldn’t support the measure.

His opposition had nothing to do with expanding Medicaid to working uninsured adults.

Instead, the opposition to PCB 7044 lies in the fact that there are no cost-saving reductions for Floridians who,  Wilson said, should benefit when Florida’s uninsured rate is lowered.

Wilson said Floridian’s pay a $1.4 billion “hidden tax” when hospitals shift the care of treating the uninsured or underinsured onto privately insured Floridians. If  Florida eradicates the uninsured problem through a Medicaid expansion, Wilson said, cost shifting to insured patients will be eliminated. If that occurs, Wilson said, the insurance companies need to lower their rates.

Specifically, Wilson wants to see insurers lower their rates by 8 percent. If they don’t lower their rates by that amount Wilson says the insurers need to include in their rate filings a detailed explanation of why they didn’t lower their rates by 8 percent.

The Chamber also would like to limit the overall impact on the Medicaid budget to nor more than 32 percent.

While the Chamber has several proposals it would like to see included in any healthcare expansion bill this session, Wilson said the 8 percent reduction and the 32 percent cap are key for his association to support the bill.

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