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Nelson Says CMS in Talks on Medicaid

Raising hopes that Medicaid expansion isn't as dead as it seems, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson told Florida House Democrats on Wednesday that he is working on a solution with federal health officials -- but he wouldn't say what it was.

As The Florida Current reports, Nelson also said the state budget for 2014-15, which is being written right now, could lose $600 million in federal funds if the state doesn't compromise. He said it will be "a real shocker," but didn't elaborate.

"I'm not prepared to talk about this thing that I'm urging CMS to do, because all the details are not there, but within the next couple of weeks, hopefully, it's going to be there and I'll let you know as soon as I get a green light from CMS," Nelson said.

CMS is the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, part of Health and Human Services.  CMS has leverage on Florida because it pays 58 percent of the cost for the Medicaid program that already exists, and that constitutes a third of the state budget.

Stay tuned to Health News Florida for updates.