Fla. gets final OK for Medicaid privatization

Published On: Jun 14 2013 10:44:03 AM EDT
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

Federal health officials are giving final approval to a plan to overhaul Florida's safety net health insurance program.

Gov. Rick Scott announced the decision on Friday, saying it would allow the state's Medicaid program to "to provide Medicaid users with quality, value-based and patient centered care."

Florida lawmakers passed sweeping bills in 2011 allowing them to expand a program that allows for-profit providers to determine the health care of 3 million of the state's poorest.

Scott and other GOP lawmakers have repeatedly warned that Medicaid's annual costs were consuming Florida's budget.

The privatization plan expands on a five-county pilot program that has been rife with problems. Critics worry for-profit providers are scrimping on patient care and denying medical services to increase profits.

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