Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Guest Editorials; Florida Kids Receiving Poor Health Care

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Guest Editorials; Florida Kids Receiving Poor Health Care

Article excerpt

Excerpts from an editorial in The Ocala Star-Banner:

More than 5,000 pediatricians and pediatric specialists have been asked whether they participate in Florida'sMedicaid managed-care program, what the wait times are for Medicaid patients, and whether the managed-care companies create barriers to care for young patients.

The survey follows an eye-opening series by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, "2 Million Kids. $24 Billion Battle," which found that the state's privatized Medicaid program is "largely ineffective."

Part of the problem, the Herald-Tribune noted, "is a dearth of data available to indicate how pediatricians navigate the massive state and federal health program that cares for more than 2 million children" - about half of Florida's entire under-20 population.

The hope is that the survey will provide state officials and the Legislature with independently gathered and analyzed data they can use to improve the effectiveness of the state's $24 billion Medicaid program.

Georgetown University researchers will conduct an in-depth study of all available data to provide a snapshot of the Florida Medicaid program for children in 2016, and how the program compares with those of other states.

Florida's program has a long way to go.

Our comments: Active oversight is essential in making sure Florida's children receive good health care.

U.S. LAGS ON ECONOMIC FREEDOM

Excerpts from an editorial in the The Orange County (Cal.) Register:

A "solid C," they call it in school. That grade characterizes the score of 75.4 that the United States earned on the Heritage Foundation's 2016 "Index of Economic Freedom," which grades countries on such factors as property rights, government spending, business freedom, monetary freedom and taxation.

The rankings closely correlate with economic growth. At the head of the class, as usual, was Hong Kong (88.6).

America's score ranked it 11th, just behind the United Kingdom (76.4) and Estonia (77.2). Canada is in sixth place.

At the bottom were the two remaining communist countries. In 177th place was Castroite Cuba (29.8), and rock bottom, 178th place, was erratic dictator Kim Jong Un's North Korea (2.3).

In 2007, the U.S. stood in fourth place, with a score of 82. Barack Obama became president in 2009, and his policies largely are to blame for this decline, according to Heritage.

But we would add that President George W. Bush was in the White House when the Great Recession hit in 2007-08. And Republicans have controlled the House of Representatives for more than five years since the 2010 Tea Party rebellion against too much government.

Our comments: The dismal scores and the blame on both parties helps to explain this political season of discontent on the election trail. America shouldn't be trailing any nation in economic freedom.

GOOD NEWS ON SMART JUSTICE

Excerpts from an editorial in The Miami Heral

We commend Gov. …

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