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Florida House Advances Small State-Funded Health Plan

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Medical Costs

(Source: AP)

Legislative Session Coverage

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Florida House of Representatives’ appropriations committee has pushed ahead with a smaller state-funded health insurance plan for Florida’s needy rather than embrace a fully federally-funded Medicaid expansion.

The House is opposing the Medicaid expansion that is part of the Affordable Care Act. The state Senate and Governor Rick Scott have embraced the Medicaid expansion for a limited time while its fully funded by the federal government.

The clash between the two wings of the Florida legislature leaves more than a million residents stuck in the middle. The Medicaid expansion would cover up to 1.1 million Floridians while the Florida House’s plan would cover 115,000 residents and cost roughly $237 million.

The House Appropriations committee on Friday cleared the Florida Health Choices Plus bill (HB 7169) on a party line 16-8 vote.

Democrats lost a bid to amend the bill. It would have taken federal money to extend those covered up to 133 percent of the poverty level.

But Republicans oppose taking federal money. They say there’s no guarantee the feds will keep paying. And they say it’s borrowed money that adds to the federal deficit. But, the worry over the federal deficit may be overblown after the primary study warning of debt problems was proven incorrect this week.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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