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Senate unveils health care train that includes a priority of House health care bill

Less than a week after House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. Richard Corcoran complained that the Senate wouldn’t consider any of his chamber’s health care proposals the Senate Health Policy Committee will take up a bill on “direct primary care” when it meets Tuesday.

The proposed bill — SB 7084 — incorporates the substance of HB 7047 which was developed by the House Health Innovation Subcommittee after conducting a lengthy workshop on direct primary care and how it works with physician supporters as well as National Federation of Independent Business-Florida.

Direct primary care allows doctors to charge and collect a monthly fee in exchange for health care services without running afoul of insurance law. Specifically the House bill amends insurance codes to make clear that direct primary care is not insurance.

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli told Florida Politics that he liked the idea behind direct primary care and had discussed the concept with a physician friend of his.

The proposed Senate bill also is the first health care “train” of the session. That’s because in addition to including the direct primary care proposal the bill also contains a section on “medical tourism” similar to what’s contained in SB 86 and HB 945, neither of which has been considered by a House or Senate committee. The medical tourism bill is sponsored by Senate Health Policy Committee Chairman Sen. Aaron Bean.

The bill also amends the Access to Health Care Act, which provides sovereign immunity in certain instances, and has in it the original version of SB 1146, filed by Sen. David Simmons.

The term “trains” is used to describe a bill that has contains proposals that are supported by a broad group of people but also contain other bills that aren’t as well liked or as well known.

The original version of SB 1146 (similar to HB 965) would have authorized free clinics to receive money from the state or non profit corporation to support the delivery of the contracted health care services provided by volunteer health care providers and would have allowed clinics to use the money to employ providers who supplement or coordinate or support the volunteer health care providers.

However, the bill was amended to make clear that in order to qualify for sovereign immunity the clinic may not receive any compensation from governmental contractor for any services provided. The amended bill is on available for Senate floor debate.

SB 7084 contains the original version of SB 1146.

Rep. Corcoran complained during House budget debate that the Senate was trying to force the House to take up a Medicaid expansion bill that was supported by well-heeled lobbyists but that the Senate was unwilling to consider proposals championed by the House.

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