Medicaid vote expected on Thursday, won't include federal drop out

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With behind-the-scenes negotiations continuing on a Medicaid overhaul, House and Senate leaders said Wednesday the bill likely will not include a threat to exit the federal program if Florida can? get changes it wants, reports the News Service of Florida. Senators included such a threat in their initial version of the Medicaid rewrite, contending the state could run the program itself. But withdrawing from the federal program could cost Florida billions of dollars in a aid from Washington. Senate President Mike Haridopolos and House Speaker Dean Cannon said they expect a compromise bill to go to the Senate on Thursday, the next-to-last-day of the legislative session. If approved by the Senate, it then would have to go to the House. ?? increasingly optimistic that, yes, Medicaid will get done,? said Cannon, a Winter Park Republican. Haridopolos and Cannon also indicated the bill likely will not include a ?edical loss ratio?for managed-care plans, which are expected to eventually enroll almost all Medicaid beneficiaries. Such ratios are designed to make sure plans spend certain percentages of money on patient care. Instead, lawmakers probably will seek to use a system in which managed-care plans would have to share some profits with the state. That move would come despite a letter last week from the federal government indicating that it will require medical-loss ratios.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.