Senate Passes Health Plan, But Its Future Uncertain

Apr 30, 2013

Lawmakers in the Florida Senate voted 38 to 1 to pass the bill to create the Healthy Florida plan, state Sen. Joe Negron's alternative to Medicaid expansion.  

State Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart

It accepts federal funds to provide premium assistance for about 1.1 million Floridians to buy health insurance.

Negron said people who receive the assistance will be responsible for co-pays and deductibles.

"This is not a giveaway program," Negron said. 

State Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, was the only senator who voted against the bill. 

The Senate plan is very different from the one the House adopted, which rejects federal funds and covers about 115,000.  

Negron, R-Stuart, said yesterday he's doubtful the two chambers will reach a compromise. The bill is now on its way to the House, where lawmakers last week rejected the Senate plan.