Florida Senate panel rejects Medicaid expansion

Senate proposes voucher system as alternative to Rick Scott's plan

Published On: Mar 11 2013 03:03:45 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 11 2013 03:13:19 PM EDT
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

A Senate committee has essentially killed Gov. Rick Scott's plan to expand Medicaid coverage to roughly 1 million of Florida's poorest residents.

Instead, the committee proposed Monday that the state adopt a managed care system that requires patients have a copayment.

Sen. Joe Negron says he hopes the state can eventually exit from the Medicaid system entirely and called this proposal the beginning of a transformation. Lawmakers also discussed using state funds to help with copays.

A House panel last week also rejected expanding Medicaid.

Scott wants to expand Medicaid for three years as long as the federal government foots the bill. State economists project Florida would draw down more than $51 billion over the next decade, while spending about $5.2 billion.