Charlie Crist on Health Care
CRIST: Pre-existing instances should not be a discriminatory tool used by insurance companies to not give people insurance. We need to repeal this thing. Let's start over. The real problems with health care are access and affordability. And we have approached those in Florida, a plan called Cover Florida. No tax dollars involved. No government mandates. I think Washington could learn a lot from Florida.
Q: We looked into Cover Florida--stripped-down insurance for stripped-down prices. As you say, all voluntary. But only 0.1% of Florida's uninsured have signed up for it, 5,000 out of millions of people.
CRIST: It's about 6,000 now. Every individual of those 6,000 now has that peace of mind, doesn't have to worry about their child having a catastrophic illness.
Q: But it's hardly "Cover Florida."
CRIST: Well, I think it's important that it's Cover Families. People who get it like it.
Q: With all due respect, waste and fraud--people have been talking about it for years. Don't you actually have to make some benefit changes if you're going to deal with this debt issue?
CRIST: You might have to make some, but I think what you want to do first is get the waste and the fraud out.
Q: Such as what?
CRIST: I think you have to have strict enforcement. You have to have U.S. attorneys that go after this with a serious approach and realize that in order for these programs to be able to survive so that my children and my grandchildren have an opportunity to be able to benefit from them, we have to spend less by getting waste and fraud out of these systems.
Crist’s “Cover Florida” proposal would not come with a state mandate that individuals had to buy it or employers had to offer it. And it would give insurance companies lots of leeway in deciding how to structure such a health plan--as long
A $150-per-month health-insurance policy “can’t get you comprehensive coverage,” says one analyst; such a plan would either have sky-high deductibles for hospital stays or have no hospitalization coverage at all. Another analyst replies, “Anything that moves some number of people from the uninsured category into the insured category is a good thing that is worth considering.”
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