Fla. Senate panel approves alternative to Medicaid

Fla. Senate panel approves scaled-down insurance plan as alternative to Medicaid expansion

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida Senate panel is backing a stripped-down health insurance plan for Florida's poor.

The Senate Health Policy Committee approved a measure that attempts to cover Floridians who don't qualify for Medicaid.

The bill was approved on a party-line vote with Democrats opposed.

Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, is sponsoring the bill (SB 7144) as an alternative to expanding Medicaid. But Bean's approach does not rely on federal aid and would only cover about 60,000 people in the first year.

Florida lawmakers have already said no to expanding Medicaid as part of the federal health care overhaul. But the Senate is considering a measure to use federal money to enroll people in private insurance plans.

It remains unclear, however, if the House would accept anything that relies on federal money.

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