Previewing the legislative session: Health care
Last year, Florida’s annual legislative session fell apart when House and Senate Republicans disagreed over Medicaid expansion and health care funding. Now, as the Legislature returns to Tallahassee for its regular session, expect health care to remain a big point of contention.
House Republicans are pushing to eliminate or scale back a series of regulations, which they say will make health care cheaper. But Senators aren't on board with all of that, although their Medicaid expansion plan from last year won’t be on the table.
Not everything is so contentious, however. There are a few potential areas for compromise, including requiring cost transparency for health insurers and providers, a big priority for Gov. Rick Scott; and allowing nurse practitioners to prescribe medications.
And then there’s the budget. At the center of last year’s debacle was the Low-Income Pool, a shrinking pot of money that reimburses hospitals for uncompensated care. This year, the pool is smaller than ever — about 600 million dollars — and lawmakers are holding out hope they can get more money from the federal government.