Sen. Aaron Bean

MGN Online

A revived bill that wades into the abortion debate has passed its first Florida Senate Committee, but not without opposition.

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Bills aimed at fixing a glitch in a Florida law have cleared their first legislative committees in the House and Senate. The two measures could get more pro bono attorneys to help kids with special needs.

Nick Evans / WFSU News

The Florida legislature is weighing a transportation related measure in the final days of session. Lawmakers are considering revising laws related to self-driving cars, driving under the influence and specialty license plates.

Rep. Larry Metz (R-Yalaha)
Florida Channel

Legislation banning so called sanctuary policies has passed the Florida House. But it’s unclear whether the Senate will advance the bill in the final week of session.

Florida Sheriffs Association

While a raft of immigration legislation is moving through the Florida House, similar proposals in the Senate appear to be on the back burner.

Florida Channel

The Florida Senate has unanimously passed a bill making it easier for foster care kids to obtain a driver’s license as well as car insurance.

Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville) talks Medicaid expansion plans
LHatter / WFSU News

Florida could see the position of Secretary of State turn from an appointed position to an elected one. A Fernandina Beach lawmaker filed legislation filed this session to do just that.

Florida Channel

The new head of the Florida budget panel for criminal and civil justice is giving his fellow members some homework.

Protecting sensitive medical records from hackers, licensing out-of-state doctors, policing Medicaid fraud. Those are just a few issues Florida’s Telehealth Advisory Council is about to tackle.

Intel Free Press

Florida lawmakers have been weighing how to regulate telemedicine—generating debate between doctors’ groups and other healthcare providers. The House has been moving its telehealth proposal along, but the Senate version of the bill had its first hearing Tuesday.

Under the federal health law states have the option to expand their Medicaid programs to include more low-income people. A million more Floridians are eligible for Medicaid under the law. The legislature rejected the expansion in favor of state-based solutions. Earlier in the week a Senate panel endorsed two alternative proposals to the expansion and Friday it was the House’s turn.

LHatter / WFSU

Florida lawmakers continue to grapple with how best to serve the state’s uninsured population.  The group is estimated to be nearly four million, and the federal health law would have sent down enough money to cover a million of them by expanding Medicaid. But Florida lawmakers rejected that in favor of a state-based plan. 

Three proposals are on the table which would cover between 60,000 to a million uninsured Floridians, but with time running out, no clear path in sight, some say it’s time for a compromise.

The Florida House has reinforced its decision not to accept any federal funding to extend health insurance coverage to people who would have otherwise qualified to it under the Affordable Care Act. Instead, the House is going with its own scaled back plan which received approval from the chamber’s health committee set up to examine the law.

Florida House of Representatives

Reactions to a house plan expanding health insurance coverage to an additional 115,000 uninsured Floridians is getting the cold shoulder from Governor Rick Scott and healthcare groups. The measure is the House's response to the federal Medicaid expansion, which lawmakers rejected last month.

Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford and Representative Richard Corcoran have crafted an alternative to the Federal Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

The plan is similar to one in the Senate by Aaron Bean that relies on state funding only to allow more people to purchase private health insurance plans.

A “Plan C” alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health law is now moving through the Senate. The proposal by Republican Senator Aaron Bean, cleared its first committee on a party line vote.

The Florida Senate

Florida lawmakers rejected an expansion of the state’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act but are coming up with alternatives.

Republicans balked at the expansion, saying federal support can’t be guaranteed. They grumbled at a proposal by Sen. Joe Negron that relies on federal Medicaid money to steer the eligible population into the state’s kidcare program, but another Senator is putting forth an alternative to that alternative which would cover fewer people, and doesn’t rely on federal money.

"Bean-Care" Released As Alternative To Medicaid Expansion

Apr 1, 2013

In a possible alternative to expanding Medicaid, a Senate committee Tuesday is expected to take up a proposal aimed at helping low-income Floridians get health services --- while turning down billions of dollars in federal money.

The proposal, which Senate Health Policy Chairman Aaron Bean has helped draw up, would create the "Health Choice Plus Program" and would target adults whose incomes are below 100 percent of the federal poverty level.