Yesterday marked the first day of the 2019 legislative session.
Jose Oliva, the House Speaker, covered a lot of ground in his opening remarks, but one issue that’s been gaining a lot of traction in recent weeks is the rise of health care costs. In his remarks, he noted that this legislative session would have health care choice as a priority.
In his speech, Speaker Oliva commented that lawmakers “stand at the threshold of a new legislative session, and with it endless possibilities” are within reach.
He noted that the health care system has become “an eminent financial and human threat.” He further explained that “we spend almost more on health care than we do on all other things combined.” However, “hundreds of thousands go without” healthcare. And, “many more struggle to afford ever increasing insurance and medication costs.”
This, he explains will be combatted by taking “a truly comprehensive approach.”
The approach includes “the repeal of the certificate of need which has led to local and regional monopolies,” which he notes “has stifled competition and led to skyrocketing prices.”
Another step that will be taken is that lawmakers “will unleash powerful new technologies like telehealth to operate to its full potential,” which will also “allow highly trained and skilled nurse practitioners to practice to the full extent of their training.”
And, they “will empower the patient to be an active participant in their health care choices through health savings accounts and ensure that they will receive accurate and binding estimates for their care.”
Oliva assured that lawmakers will “make it clear that the patient’s records belong to the patient” while allowing “free state agencies and Floridians alike to purchase medications at the price the rest of the world purchases them at.”
Though Oliva noted that “no single policy will be the solution,” he asserted that these steps will ensure that the health care system is reformed to better serve citizens of the United States.