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'CorcoranCare' Medicaid expansion alternative headed to House floor

The House's proposed alternative to Medicaid expansion -- a plan that rejects federal dollars and instead allocates state funding to subsidize health coverage for the poor -- could be up for a floor vote some time next week.

The proposal, drafted by Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, has been on the fast track ever since it was made public on April 11. The House committee studying the health care law agreed to formally introduce HB 7169 on Monday. The budget panel, the bill's only committee of reference, approved the measure today.

Corcoran's plan has divided the House along party lines. Democrats tried to gut his bill, introducing an amendment today that would have replaced Corcoran's state-funded program for 130,000 people with Medicaid expansion for roughly 1 million people that draws down $51 billion in federal funding.

The amendment failed along party lines. Another party line vote approved the plan, called Florida Health Choices Plus.

Meanwhile, the Senate's two Medicaid expansion alternatives are both on Tuesday's budget committee's agenda after being approved by the health care budget subcommittee earlier this week. Republican senators voted in favor of both plans, saying they want to keep all options open in hopes of reaching a compromise with the House.

One plan, by Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, is similar to the House proposal and has faced similarly partisan votes. The other, by Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, has received unanimous support, as well as the backing of Gov. Rick Scott and many stakeholder groups.