Medicaid managed care reforms pass, and Floridians are the winners

MEDICAID - Glowing Neon Sign on stonework wall
It’s been 17 years since Florida last upgraded the Medicaid Managed Care program.

Earlier this week, I pointed to the uphill mountain lawmakers would need to climb to pass Medicaid reform.

It has been 17 years since Florida last upgraded the Medicaid Managed Care program. This type of legislation is hard. And it doesn’t get you re-elected. But it is important.

The Legislature did it. SB 1950 by Sen. Jason Brodeur — the Senate version of HB 7047 by Rep. Sam Garrison — passed both chambers on what should have been Sine Die.

Many in The Process said this bill was dead, but it came back to life in the final hours during which non-budget issues could be considered.

After bouncing back and forth, the bill was sitting in the Senate. Brodeur filed an amendment rejecting this week’s House language and reverting back to the language passed by the Senate previously — with one difference.

The amendment gives more control to the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) on the auto-assignment process, which could create greater competition in the market.

When a glitch at Sunshine Health resulted in payment failures for three months last year, it was clear that reform was necessary, and more competition was crucial.

The bill in its final form passed the Senate 38-0. It was then taken up by the House and voted favorably 115-0.

As we assign names in the columns of winners and losers ahead of Sine Die, this one goes in the win column. It’s a win for the 5 million Floridians in Florida who depend on Medicaid.

It’s also a big win for AHCA Secretary Simone Marstiller and AHCA Chief of Staff Cody Farrill, who shepherded it through every step of the process. And it’s thanks to the leadership of Brodeur and Garrison, who never gave up.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


  • C.

    March 12, 2022 at 7:54 am

    More details of how it helps Floridians would be beneficial.

    • Ian

      March 15, 2022 at 10:24 am

      It doesn’t help Floridians. It only helps AHCA.
      BTW, “17 years” is way off. The current system was passed into law in 2011, so 11 years, not 17.
      And, the Senate amendment that was adopted at the 11th hour does nothing to “create greater competition in the market” regarding auto-assignment. It merely maintains the status quo.
      Lastly, the bill does nothing to address anything related to the glitch with Sunshine’s payment system.
      Who wrote this story, Peter? I suspect it wasn’t you.

Comments are closed.


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