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Senate Medicaid Expansion Plan

March 20th, 2013 by flanews

In an attempt to break a stalemate between the House and the Governor’s office, the Florida Senate is proposing an alternative to the Medicaid expansion. Whitney Ray went one-on-one with the state senator who has a plan to allow Florida to accept the Medicaid money without expanding the entitlement program.

The full court press to claim billions of federal dollars to expand Medicaid is on. House Democrats prayed with pastors Wednesday for heavenly help convincing GOP lawmakers to expand Medicaid.

“We pray for those who receive inadequate treatment for their illness,” prayed Reverend Errol Thompson with New Life Fellowship Baptist Church in Orlando.

While Democrats prayed, Alysia Peddy, a mother of a disabled Tampa boy told her story of how Medicaid keeps her family together.

Reporter: Where would you be without Medicaid?
Alysia: My son would not be home with our family, so Medicaid offers us the ability to keep us at home with us in a loving very caring environment.

The battle lines have been drawn between the House Speaker who opposes the expansion and the Governor who now wants to accept the federal cash.

“And even our governor, who we don’t always agree with, even he says let’s go ahead and let’s do this,” said House Minority Leader Perry Thurston.

The Senate’s working on an alternative plan, one that could save the state more than 100 million dollars a year.

State Senator Joe Negron is pushing a plan to use the Medicaid expansion dollars to purchase private insurance for people who qualify.

“We’ve developed a plan to use available funds to put them in private insurance. It empowers them. They get to choose their insurance plan. We have incentives in the plan,” said Negron.

The plan would require the new recipients to pay premiums and co-pays. Negron says the personal investment will make the recipients more responsible.

The plan would need approval from the full Senate, the House and the Governor. The feds would then have to sign off on the plan.

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