TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – The Florida Senate is expected Thursday to take up one of its top priorities of the session, an enormous overhaul of the Medicaid system.
While the measure may be coming to the floor in the second-to-last day of the session, legislative leaders point out that it’s not a new idea and the bill will track issues vetted in committees over the last year.
With behind-the-scenes negotiations continuing, House and Senate leaders said Wednesday the bill likely will not include a threat to exit the federal program if Florida can’t get changes it wants.
Senators included such a threat in their initial version of the Medicaid rewrite, contending the state could run the program itself. But withdrawing from the federal program could cost Florida billions of dollars in a aid from Washington.
Senate President Mike Haridopolos and House Speaker Dean Cannon said they expect a compromise bill to go to the Senate on Thursday, the next-to-last-day of the legislative session. If approved by the Senate, it then would have to go to the House.
“I’m increasingly optimistic that, yes, Medicaid will get done,” said Cannon, a Winter Park Republican.
Haridopolos and Cannon also indicated the bill likely will not include a “medical loss ratio” for managed-care plans, which are expected to eventually enroll almost all Medicaid beneficiaries. Such ratios are designed to make sure plans spend certain percentages of money on patient care.
Instead, lawmakers probably will seek to use a system in which managed-care plans would have to share some profits with the state. That move would come despite a letter last week from the federal government indicating that it will require medical-loss ratios.
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