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News Section: State Government



Republican Senator Reintroduces Bill to Accept Federal Medicaid Expansion Dollars

Published Saturday, January 25, 2014 12:09 am
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BRADENTON – Floridians across the political spectrum have supported the expansion of Medicaid benefits by a wide margin and now legislators might be put in a position to cast an election-year vote on the issue. Florida Senator Rene Garcia (R-Hialeah) has filed new legislation to once again attempt to use $51 billion federal Medicaid expansion dollars to buy private insurance policies for poor Floridians.

A nearly identical bill filed last year had the support of the entire Florida Senate and Governor Rick Scott. But while House Democrats were on board, the bill died in the House, where all but one Republican voted to support a different bill, which rejected the federal money.

"The amount of federal dollars available for the state of Florida to increase health coverage is substantial, and Florida would not be the first Republican led state to accept Medicaid expansion," Garcia said in a press release announcing the bill. "There are currently eight states led by Republican governors or a majority Republican legislature who have agreed to provide expanded Medicaid to their constituents. I hope the house puts aside partisan politics and does what is right for the hard working people of our great state."

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