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Gov. Scott to name Justin Senior to lead health care agency

@MichaelAuslen and @stevebousquet

Gov. Rick Scott will name Justin Senior the secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration, his office confirmed Wednesday.

Senior, 45, has been serving in the job as interim secretary since October, when the previous secretary, Liz Dudek, left the agency. He earns $142,000 a year.

As secretary, Senior will oversee one of the state’s largest budgets and the department that runs Florida’s Medicaid program. He’ll face confirmation from the state Senate, but the Republican-controlled chamber almost never rejects appointees of the Republican governor.

Senior has been on staff at AHCA since 2007. He figured prominently in the 2015 debate over Medicaid expansion, then serving as deputy secretary of the Medicaid division.

After the state’s program to reimburse hospitals for serving low-income uninsured patients was set to expire, Senior was part of the negotiation team that ensured continued — though decreased — federal funding.

The agency will continue to be a top newsmaker in Florida as federal officials in Donald Trump's administration and the new Congress consider dismantling the Affordable Care Act and revamping health care for low-income people.

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