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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Mike Haridopolos claims Medicaid reform was "bipartisan" in Florida Senate

Mike Haridopolos is eager to prove himself a worthier U.S. Senate candidate than his rivals. Contenders Adam Hasner and George LeMieux have spent the past few months out of office, but Haridopolos was spotlighted during the session as state Senate president. So why not tout his legislative victories?

Haridopolos set out to do just that in an interview on Bay News 9's "Political Connections" show on May 22, 2011. Co-host and St. Petersburg Times political editor Adam Smith asked Haridopolos for his view on a plan by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to reform Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people 65 and older.

Haridopolos shifted the conversation to Florida's problem with Medicaid, which insures about 3 million Floridians and eats up one-third, or about $22 billion, of the state budget. Haridopolos took on the issue "aggressively," he said, which resulted in reforms passing the House and his chamber. Gov. Rick Scott signed the bills on June 2.

"No one thought we could get a bipartisan bill (Medicaid) passed," Haridopolos said. "We did in the Florida Senate because we listened to people for two years before we acted. Same thing with Medicare. We're going to take the input of the people and not have this top-down approach."

A bipartisan bill passed in the Florida Senate, eh? If true, that bolsters Haridopolos' argument that he can create policy with the blessings of competing parties. Sounds easy enough to check.

Keep reading this PolitiFact Florida check.

[Last modified: Friday, June 3, 2011 12:28pm]


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