Medicaid Expansion Bill "NegronCare" Passes in Florida Senate

House Bill 7169, the Florida Senate's alternate legislation to provide 1 million Floridians with needed health coverage, was approved by the Senate on a 38-1 vote.

The measure is expected to head back the House, where it was already rejected and probably will be again.

The Senate's plan in its alternate measure looks to qualify for $51 billion federal to insure 1 million people.

The sole holdout in the vote, St. Petersburg Republican Sen. Jeff Brande, says that the plan relies too much on federal money and that he's not so sure the government can afford it or come through with what it promises.

"Our federal government has run a huge deficit, and this is just going to continue to add to that deficit, and I truly don't believe they're going to continue the federal match," Brandes said after the vote.

The bill, nicknamed "NegronCare" because it was written by Senate Budget Chairman Joe Negron, would take federal money made available for Medicaid expansion and put about 1 million Floridians into private health plans via Florida Health Kids.

The proposal would offer private insurance to low-income and uninsured Floridians.

The measure moves back to the House now, where the Legislature will likely again screw Floridians out of some kind of health-care expansion while it keeps focusing on more pressing needs like banning the sale of bongs.

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