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KidCare Expansion Gets Senate OK

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

With backing from the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet, a Senate committee Monday approved a bill (SB 248) that would allow thousands of immigrant children to receive health coverage through the KidCare subsidized insurance program.

The Health Policy Committee approved the bill, sponsored by Sen. Rene Garcia, a Hialeah Republican who has long pushed for the KidCare expansion. The bill would eliminate a five-year waiting period for "lawfully residing" immigrant children to receive coverage. Senators have backed the change in the past, but the House has not gone along.

Miami-Dade Republican Jose Felix Diaz has filed the House version (HB 89) for the legislative session that starts in January.

The Florida Children and Youth Cabinet, along with a number of advocacy groups, are backing the bills.