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House and Senate unwilling to concede on Medicaid expansion

The full House will discuss its proposed alternative to Medicaid expansion on Thursday and likely vote on Friday. That plan would rely only on state funding to provide basic coverages to low-income Floridians, forgoing an estimated $51 billion in federal funding.

The Senate is pushing a different proposal, one that is eligible for federal funding and would insure up to 1 million people. Right now, neither side appears willing to concede to the other.

“It wouldn’t be the first time the Legislature had a different position in the House and the Senate on a serious public policy matter,” said House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, on Tuesday. “There’s nothing wrong with having a very serious public debate about an issue of this significance.”

Weatherford refused to say if the Legislature will return for a special session on Medicaid expansion, only that there won’t be huge alarms if the issue isn’t settled before session ends next week.

“That doesn’t mean that the world comes to the end,” he said. “It just means that we’re going to have to continue to talk in the off-season and see if we can’t find some middle ground later.”

Click here to read more about the Senate's two Medicaid expansion alternatives, which are both ready for a floor vote. The one that is similar to the House plan likely won't be heard.