Gov. Scott creates commission on health care, hospital funding

Scott outlines 9 things he wants commission to study


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In the middle of a fight between state lawmakers over health care dollars, Gov. Rick Scott has created a commission on health care and hospital funding.

Scott has outlined nine things he wants the yet-to-be-named commission to study. Near the top of the list: political contributions.

"How do we make sure the dollars are spent well? How do we make sure the costs are as low as we can? How do we make sure citizens have good access to health care, good outcomes from health care?" Scott asked.

Fueling the commission is an expected loss of $1.2 billion in federal matching money for hospitals. It covers the cost for people that can't pay. The loss is triggering a civil in the Legislature.

Senate President Andy Gardiner said the commission is inconsequential.

"They're attacking hospitals, in general regarding what they make and don't make," Gardiner said. "I think it's a bit of a distraction. It really doesn't address the uninsured problem here in the state of Florida."

Serving on the hospital commission has become a big ticket ask for most of the states major business groups.

This is not the first time the former hospital executive has wanted to look at costs. Scott named a commission soon after taking office in 2011.

Florida Democrats were quick to criticize the latest commission.

"So he already tried this idea in 2011, so what viewers need to know is that this governor has already tried this idea and it didn't work," Florida Democratic spokesman Joshua Karp said.

Scott said he wants the new commission to make recommendations in time for a special session. That session needs to wrap up by the end of June, or the state won't have a budget.

Scott traveled Wednesday to Washington, D.C., to meet with federal officials and ask the loss in health care money be restored. He did not get an answer.

A statement from the Florida Hospital Association reads in part, "Florida hospitals welcome the discussion. Also important, is the need to increase access to health care coverage for uninsured Floridians, including disabled and low-income, working individuals."