Gov. Candidates In Florida, Minnesota Offer Few Details On Health Care

News outlets report that gubernatorial candidates in Florida and Minnesota are offering little details about their plans for health spending.

Health News Florida: "Florida's next governor will face overhauling the $20 billion Medicaid program. He or she will lead a state where nearly 4 million people lack health insurance. But you would barely know Florida has health-care issues if you watched a nationally televised gubernatorial debate Monday --- or two earlier debates this month." At the most recent debate, Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Alex Sink "brought up health care, but it was the stuff of he-said-she-said television ads. Scott blasted federal health reform and repeatedly tried to link Sink to President Obama. … Sink, meanwhile, spent most of her health-related bullets attacking Scott for his leadership of the Columbia/HCA hospital chain in the 1990s. After he stepped down as chief executive officer, the company paid $1.7 billion in fines because of Medicare fraud. … The only substantive mention of Medicaid came when Sink said she would curb fraud to help deal with the state's massive budget problems" (Saunders, 10/26).

Minnesota Public Radio: "In tackling a projected $5.8 billion budget deficit, Minnesota's next governor will have to make big decisions about the state Department of Human Services. … The candidates' details on the human services budget are scarce. But their comments thus far show they have distinctly different visions for the agency. Republican nominee Tom Emmer says the state can't afford $3 billion in additional spending. He proposes limiting the increase to $650 million. … Democratic nominee Mark Dayton has not released his plan for Human Services spending" but "is on record saying that he would restore funding for nursing homes. He also wants to expand public health coverage, and has long supported a government-run, single payer system. During the same debate last month, Dayton said he would gladly accept Minnesota's early enrollment in the expanded Medicaid program allowed under the federal health care overhaul" (Benson, 10/27).

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