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House Forms Panel To Push Health Proposals

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Mark Foley
/
Florida House of Representatives

The House has formed the Select Committee on Affordable Healthcare Access, a potential vehicle for ideas that were cast aside this year by the Senate during a fight over health-care policy.

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli on Wednesday announced the new panel as part of the committee lineup for the 2016 legislative session, which begins in January.

In a memo to House members, Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, said the committee would "explore policy options to reduce the cost of health care for consumers and improve the transparency of health care information."

Those ideas would likely dovetail with a series of proposals House members pushed in a June special session --- legislation that included a measure to expand the drug-prescribing powers of advanced-registered nurse practitioners and physician assistants and a bill that would have eliminated a process that requires hospitals to get state approval for new or expanded facilities. 

Another initiative would have overhauled the insurance plans for state employees. Rep. Jose Oliva, a Miami Lakes Republican and likely future speaker, will chair the committee.

Rep. Jason Brodeur, a Sanford Republican who heads the House Health & Human Services Committee, will be the vice chair of the new panel, which will also include Rep. Matt Hudson, a Naples Republican who oversees health-care spending for the House.