October 20, 2005

U.S. Gives Florida a Sweeping Right to Curb Medicaid

The New York Times reported today that there are likely to be some major new changes that further limit and reduce the amount spent for medical treatment of the country's poorest citizens (which frequently includes those with brain disorders such as schizophrenia). Medicaid provides health insurance to more than 50 million low-income people. The states and federal government jointly finance it.:

"The Bush administration approved a sweeping Medicaid plan for Florida on Wednesday that limits spending for many of the 2.2 million beneficiaries there and gives private health plans new freedom to limit benefits."

Additionally, the Times states:

"The Florida program, likely to be a model for many other states, shifts from the traditional Medicaid "defined benefit" plan to a "defined contribution" plan, under which the state sets a ceiling on spending for each recipient.

Children under the age of 21 and pregnant women will be exempt from the limits.

The Florida plan says, "The state will set aside a specific amount of money for each person enrolled in Medicaid," based on the person's medical condition and historic use of health care.

Michael O. Leavitt, secretary of health and human services, approved the proposal 16 days after it was formally submitted to him, with strong support from Gov. Jeb Bush."

See Full Story: U.S. Gives Florida a Sweeping Right to Curb Medicaid


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