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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

No Medicaid freeze now, but stay tuned



When the Florida Senate and House vote to pass the $500 million in cuts to the existing budget on Wednesday, it appears as though they won't be passing a separate bill to eliminate future automatic cost-of-living increases in Medicaid reimbursements for hospitals, nursing homes and county health departments.

The Medicaid freeze was the significant difference between budget cut packages the chambers passed last week. Senate Republican leaders called the freeze a necessary cost-cutting measure that also stopped a certain segment of Medicaid providers from getting an unfair perk. Democrats and some in the House called it "premature," since it impacts the next fiscal year budget.

However, the freeze isn't off the table.

The House has scheduled a workshop on the issue on Thursday in a health care committee, Rep. Aaron Bean said.

"We agreed to keep the conference issue on that open and keep it separate from the budget, it's still being debated," Bean said.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:17pm]


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