Are Florida House Republicans ready to unveil their long-awaited alternative to Medicaid expansion?
Could be judging from the approval this week, through House Speaker Will Weatherford’s office, to block out four hours on Monday for the House Select Committee on the Affordable Care Act. The meeting hasn’t been posted yet, but House leaders are authorizing that the committee, which is chaired by Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, meet from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday.
The committee rejected Medicaid expansion on March 4 -- the day before legislative session began -- and has met sparingly since. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans have proposed two alternative plans (one that uses federal dollars, one that doesn’t) and Gov. Rick Scott has continued to get national attention for supporting the expansion of Medicaid, something Weatherford and other top House Republicans oppose.
Weatherford lost support last week from Democrats for the House’s $74.4 billion budget because of the lack of a plan addressing Medicaid. For weeks, he has said that a House plan was going to be released, but hasn’t provided any details about it. Last week he said only that a plan was coming soon.
Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, said he has heard about a proposed House plan that would include no federal dollars and about $300 million in state dollars. It would pay for a system that would expand coverage, but would also include higher deductibles, incentives for staying healthy and limit patient spending through “savings accounts.”