- Associated Press - Friday, June 5, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida House has soundly rejected a Medicaid expansion compromise that even supporters admitted had its flaw.

The bill has been doomed to fail almost from the start and tore apart the regular session as the House and Senate bitterly disagreed. The bill was voted down by 72-41 Friday following a passionate, six-hour debate. It was an attempt by the Senate to draw down $18 billion in federal money and give it to Floridians to purchase private health insurance instead of putting them in the regular Medicaid program.

But Republicans insisted it would expand so-called Obamacare and increase the federal deficit. Even supporters acknowledged the bill would cover much less than the 800,000 who are eligible.

Democrats said the bill was a starting point that would save the state $547 million and could be built on over time.

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