1. Health

Activists urge Senate to hold firm on 'NegronCare' plan

Just as today's Senate session was getting underway, loud shouting and chanting was heard just outside the chamber doors.

Those were the sounds of health care workers and activists pleading the Senate to hold strong in supporting their proposed alternative to Medicaid expansion. The bill, crafted by Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, would qualify for $51 billion in federal funding to insure 1 million people.

The Senate is expected to discuss the plan, SB 1816, this afternoon. A vote could happen today but most likely tomorrow.

The activists also visited Gov. Rick Scott's office to thank him for supporting the Senate plan.

The House has passed a much different proposal, HB 7169, that offers health coverages to about 130,000 of the state's poorest parents and disabled residents but leaves out 400,000 childless adults. That House bill could be considered by the Senate, but that is not expected.