Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Senate, House still at a stalemate over Medicaid expansion alternative

On Monday in Tallahassee protesters, from left, Hattie Coleman, Jose Montaner and Juanita Alvarez, all of Miami, urge the Florida House of Representatives to expand Medicaid coverage.

SCOTT KEELER | Times

On Monday in Tallahassee protesters, from left, Hattie Coleman, Jose Montaner and Juanita Alvarez, all of Miami, urge the Florida House of Representatives to expand Medicaid coverage.

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Senate effectively rejected the House's alternative to expanding Medicaid on Monday, prolonging a stalemate that may prove too difficult to resolve before the legislative session wraps up this week.

Senators on Monday took up the House plan, which passed last week, but quickly amended the bill by swapping in their own plan. The Senate is expected to pass the amended bill and send it back to the House today.

What happens after that is anyone's guess.

The Senate plan relies on $51 billion in federal funding over 10 years to provide private health insurance to 1 million poor Floridians. The House proposal uses only state money — up to about $300 million a year — to provide basic health coverage to 130,000 people.

House members last week criticized the Senate plan as extending the current Medicaid system in the state, a program that they say does not provide quality insurance to low-income Floridians.

On Monday, senators fired back.

"Nothing in this bill expands Medicaid," said Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, who drafted the Senate plan. "We don't want to expand Medicaid, and we want to have a Florida solution and not Washington solution."

The Senate proposal has the support of hospitals, business groups such as the Associated Industries of Florida and Gov. Rick Scott. But with House Republicans dug in against accepting federal money, there appears to be little room for compromise.

"We have a different way to do it, and in the end it's difficult to resolve strongly held viewpoints about how to pay for things," said Negron, adding that compromise was unlikely.

On Monday, senators gutted a third alternative that was created as an olive branch to the House. Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, stripped his bill so that it no longer deals with an alternative to Medicaid expansion.

That leaves two vastly divided chambers, two very different proposals and just four days. Scott said he remains optimistic the Legislature will "do the right thing."

"Our choice now is to decide whether we're going to take care of the uninsured," Scott said. "I support Sen. Negron's bill. The House and Senate know exactly where I stand on this."

Times/Herald staff writer Michael Van Sickler contributed to this report.

Senate, House still at a stalemate over Medicaid expansion alternative 04/29/13 [Last modified: Monday, April 29, 2013 7:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  3. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote

    Blogs

    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.
  4. Kids today: They don't work summer jobs the way they used to

    Business

    WASHINGTON — It was at Oregon's Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie The Shining, where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheck.

    Teens Ben Testa, from left, Hannah Waring and Abby McDonough, and Wegmeyer Farms owner Tyler Wegmeyer walk the strawberry rows at the Hamilton, Va., farm in late May.
  5. Jeb Bush back in the hunt for the Marlins, now opposing Derek Jeter

    Blogs

    Associated Press:

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has switched sides in pursuit of the Miami Marlins, and he’s trying to beat out former teammate Derek Jeter.