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Senate introduces Bean alternative to Medicaid expansion

The Senate's Health Policy Committee has agreed to introduce a bare-bones approach to providing health coverage for the uninsured proposed by Sen. Aaron Bean.

The Fernandina Beach Republican is arguing that his plan may be the only way to get all three sides -- the Senate, the House, and Gov. Rick Scott -- to agree on an alternative to Medicaid expansion.

"Our challenge, senators, if we’re going to find something or if we’re going to move on something: it has to be something that we can all say 'yes' to," Bean said.

All sides agree that something should be done for the roughly 1 million low-income residents in Florida who don’t have insurance. But the main sticking point is the federal dollars available as part of the federal health care law.

The House says it doesn’t want the money and has indicated it would reject any proposals that include it. Bean's plan doesn't qualify for the federal money, unlike an alternative proposal by Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart.

Here is a previous blog where we compare the Bean and Negron plans. Negron's plan, SB 1816, has been assigned to two committees. Now that Bean's proposal, SB 7144, is officially introduced, we expect it to be assigned to at least two committees as well.