Senate health care plan advances

Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 6:56 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 6:56 p.m.

TALLAHASSEE — A Senate budget panel has moved forward a plan to broaden Medicaid coverage to roughly 1 million Florida residents under the federal health care law.

The Senate Appropriations committee on Thursday introduced the bill (SB 7038) without objections.

Sen. Joe Negron's plan would take federal Medicaid expansion dollars and enroll people in insurance through — but not in — the Florida Healthy Kids program. That is an existing subsidized program that provides coverage to children.

Negron said people who need it would have health insurance by January 2014. He called it "premium assistance for people who go to work every day."

But any Medicaid expansion faces a hostile Florida House. Gov. Rick Scott wants to accept federal health care money.

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