Florida Senate files bill to expand Medicaid, create state-run health insurance exchange

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TALLAHASSEE, Florida — A bill that would use federal funds to offer health insurance to nearly 1 million low-income Floridians is being proposed in the Senate.

Thursday's proposal from the Health Policy Committee to create a Florida health insurance exchange could also include the 1.6 million Floridians who are currently insured through the federal exchange healthcare.gov. It's a potential solution if the Supreme Court rules against the subsidies given under so-called Obamacare.

The Republican-led Legislature has been opposed to a straight up Medicaid expansion, but has been open to taking billions of federal dollars and giving consumers vouchers to purchase private insurance. House leaders have signaled Medicaid expansion isn't a priority this session.

The bill would require the Medicaid population to pay small monthly premiums and modest fees for emergency room visits. They would also have to be employed or in school. Adults without children would not receive coverage.

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