Staying Healthy - Physically and Fiscally
Andy Corty, Publisher
No topic has been bigger this year than healthcare. The national debate dominated the political scene through the ultimate bill signing in late March, and the aftershocks promise to dominate the election scene from the primaries through the general election this November. And that will be just the beginning.
Editor Mark Howard and his team decided to put all hands on deck and take on this giant topic, and the issue of Florida Trend that you’re holding is largely devoted to healthcare. I expect it will be one of the most-read editions of the year. Our challenge — as with many stories in a thoughtful monthly magazine — is to lift our coverage out of the hurly-burly of daily journalism and provide readers with the context and perspective they need to really understand an issue.
You can say it many ways. We separate the wheat from the chaff. We block the noise created by breathless, one-sided cable television coverage. We describe what’s really important in the long term.
In this issue, Trend’s readers will understand the factors impacting healthcare in Florida regardless of what the federal changes bring or the many challenges sure to face it in the coming months. Starting with "The Future of Healthcare," you’ll meet many of the people who are changing the face of healthcare in Florida with both medical and managerial innovations. You’ll read about trends such as “bundled payments” and “medical homes” that will be part of the landscape in the next few years.
Whatever your personal views — and Florida Trend welcomes executive readers of all stripes — we can agree that our best collective thinking and our most creative solutions will be required if healthcare is to remain affordable for Floridians and for our state government.
One example of that creative thinking comes from Florida TaxWatch, the good-government group now celebrating its 30th anniversary. Under the direction of Chairman David A. Smith from the medical field, and Chairman-elect Marshall Criser of AT&T, TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic Calabro and his task force recently issued a comprehensive 100-page document itemizing how the state can save at least $3.2 billion per year from its budget.
The bipartisan group found $369 million in recommended healthcare savings alone. For example, we could save $12 million per year if Florida would join 21 other states that offer their employees incentives to stop smoking or lose weight. That’s the kind of thinking we need. Please let us know your thoughts and ideas by sending us a letter or e-mail.
After mulling the deep subjects of healthcare and budgets, you might be ready for a vacation or quick getaway. If so, I hope you select a spot right here in Florida. After all, millions of people drive long distances or fly across oceans to get here, and all we need to do is drive down the road a piece. Florida Trend’s Summer Getaways guide highlights at least a dozen splendid spots for fun and relaxation. Please support these advertisers; I’ll be in the lounge chair right next to you.
New Year’s Resolution Update: I was ready to slack off, but my accountability partner, Chris Hart up in Tallahassee, said I was “looking good.” His embellishment of the truth was the push I needed to complete eight workout sessions in March, bringing me to 28 for the first quarter, a personal record. Next up: Healthy eating — no bread, no fries, no desserts. Sounds horrible.
— Andy Corty