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Health News Florida

GOP Lawmaker Resurrects Expansion

Rene_Garcia_3.jpg
Sammy Mack
/
Health News Florida

A Republican state senator wants Florida to use federal Medicaid expansion money to help low-income Floridians purchase health insurance,  the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau reports.

State Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, filed a proposal Tuesday that is similar to the bill that won support in the state Senate last year, but died in the House. Garcia said that not taking the federal money is "irresponsible."

House Speaker Will Weatherford is holding firm to his opposition to taking the federal funding, indicating the split between the Senate and House will persist.

Democrats have unanimously favored taking the federal funds, estimated at $51 billion over 10 years. They were to be used to provide coverage to nearly 1 million uninsured Floridians below the poverty level. As things stand in Florida, they will be unable to qualify for subsidized premiums and other federal help through the Marketplace (Healthcare.gov).