How do state lawmakers feel about Republican Gov. Rick Scott's recent suggestion that hospitals pool their profits to cover charity care?
Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman René García, R-Hialeah, called the idea "worth exploring."
"I've always said that everything should be on the table," he said. "We need to have a comprehensive approach when we look at the delivery of healthcare that talks about access, quality, affordability and reducing the cost."
There, however, was a caveat.
"I think it would be very difficult for local communities to send their tax money to other communities rather than re-investing it in their own backyard," García said, pointing out that only some counties raise local dollars for health care.
The idea may not go anywhere in the House.
"I think there are other solutions available to Florida that do not include a hospital profit share plan," Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, said in a statement.
For the past decade, Florida hospitals have relied on a federal-state program known as the Low Income Pool to help pay for charity care. But the program may not be renewed next year, meaning a loss of $1.3 billion in federal healthcare funding.
The House, Senate and governor's office are proposing different ways to plug the hole.
The Senate wants to accept $2.8 billion in federal Medicaid expansion money to help provide more coverage to low-income Floridians on the front end. The House wants to approve a series of reforms that would broaden access to health care and lower the cost.
Scott, meanwhile, has convened a commission on hospital and healthcare funding to explore how taxpayer-supported hospitals spend their money. He has asked the members to look specifically at profit sharing as a solution to the possible end of LIP.