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Senate Passes Health Plan, But Its Future Uncertain

State Sen. Joe Negron.jpg

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.  

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. 

Lottie Watts is our Florida Mattersproducer, and she also covers health and health policy for.
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