By: Victor Gabuardi, Articles Editor, J.D. Candidate, May 2018, St. Thomas University School of Law.

There are competing issues regarding Florida’s high demand in its care for the elder.  As Florida is one of the top retirement states in the country, it appears as if the government’s push is to free itself from health care’s high demand.  For example, Gov. Scott and the Republican House want to engage in a free-market approach by ending grant programs for Certificates of Needs (“CON”).  Generally, CON programs provide grants to medical care providers such as hospitals, nursing care facilities, and nursing homes.  Such grants to the same would fund the facilities’ specialized services, including but not limited to “new facility construction, new specialized hospital services (for example, trauma services), certain bed conversions and increasing the number of inpatient beds at hospitals.”

However, the government wants to keep Florida as one of the top states in elder care.  Gov. Scott stated taking away this type of program and increasing the ability of a free market to control this industry, which will increase competition with other states.  Not everyone is of the same opinion regarding Gov. Scott’s elimination motives.  Lobbyists and industry leaders point out many flaws in this free market system, especially the fact that when an industry is privatized, once the money is coming in, the quality of services is definitely going to be coming out.  Nevertheless, those wanting to repeal CON programs feel the government’s control in this field is inefficient, with costs increasing and the quality of service stagnating.  Florida is currently at a standstill, but Gov. Scott’s free market motives are clear.  It will be interesting to see how Florida’s legislature will move forward with President Trump’s policies promoting a free market approach as well.