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Florida State Senate Approves Medicaid Expansion Bill

A panel in the Florida state Senate approved a proposal that would enable Florida to use billions of dollars from the federal government to expand health care coverage to the low-income residents in its state. This proposal would help approximately 800,000 people find better health care options, so long as the legislation is able to get past the house and the federal government.

The legislation (SPB 7044) received unanimous support from the Senate Health Policy Committee, and the audience on hand seemed eager about it as well, cheering and clapping upon its passage. However, it appears unlikely at this point that the Florida House will be willing to support it, even though the bill has been backed by numerous influential hospital groups and the Associated Industries of Florida.

The other roadblock is the federal government. Florida would need to be granted a waiver from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to be able to get the funding it needs for the bill. There are a few components of the bill that have shown up in other similar proposed legislation in other states, and the federal government has tended to block them.

Finally, the Florida legislature rejected a proposal to expand Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act as recently as 2013, another possible stumbling point for the bill.

So while state senators acknowledge that the bill certainly has to fight an uphill battle, they are heartened that there appears to be a growing level of public support for expanded Medicaid coverage and that important conversations are happening within the state capitol about the issue.

If you need help seeking Medicaid coverage, reach out to the experienced Florida attorneys at the Charles Law Offices right away.

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