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Florida Senate pushes Medicaid reform

Miami Herald, April 1, 2010

The Florida Senate has passed a budget that would impose sweeping Medicaid reform. The Medicaid privatization effort, wrapped into the Senate's proposed $69.4 billion budget, passed despite Democratic concerns about restructuring Medicaid, a nearly $19 billion state-federal health program for the poor that serves 14% of Florida's population. Republican Sen. Joe Negron sponsored the bill he called the "transformation of how Medicaid works" because the program's costs and rolls are climbing and President Obama's healthcare plan could add 1.8 million more people to the Florida rolls by 2019.