The Medicaid Program continues to consume more and more of Florida's total budget each year. This fiscal year the program alone will consume over 28% of the entire state budget. By 2014, that percentage is expected to reach 33%.
Costs in the program continue to climb as enrollment in the program increases and health care costs rise. Additionally, the Federal Health Care Reform Legislation recently signed into law by President Obama will expand Medicaid eligibility to more than a million new Floridians. These factors threaten the stability of Florida's Medicaid program as well as other vital state programs that will inevitably see their share of the budget shift to cover the cost of Medicaid. The growth of the Medicaid program in its current form is unsustainable.
The House of Representatives approached this issue by putting forth a comprehensive reform plan to significantly control costs while improving the quality of care. Florida's current Medicaid system consists of a patchwork of fee for service plans and 20 different managed care waivers with a series of carve-outs, exceptions and special designations. The current Florida system is the most complex in the country.
The House plan would move the Medicaid program into a state-wide fully integrated managed care plan where participants in the program would have several health plans to choose from to fit their individual health needs. The approach would streamline the program and provide stability to the recipients. Most importantly, focusing the state into one integrated system would enable our agencies to effectively measure performance and would achieve better health outcomes for everyone in the program.
We are disappointed that the Senate did not consider our carefully crafted, bipartisan plan this year, but we have laid a solid foundation that we will continue to work towards. The crisis in Medicaid continues to grow and we hope our plan achieves greater success next session.