With the Florida House presently unwilling to support Medicaid expansion, legislators are finding inspiration from other states as they try to come up with an alternative solution.
Much of the focus is on Arkansas, which received preliminary federal approval to use Medicaid expansion dollars to purchase private insurance via health exchanges for 250,000 people.
In Indiana, the state wants to adding 300,000 people to its health savings account-based plan instead of Medicaid expansion. Iowa is asking to add an estimated 150,000 people to its low-benefit safety net program instead of Medicaid.
Florida is bigger than all three of these states combined. Roughly 900,000 people hang in the balance as the state debates whether or not it will expand Medicaid.
Avik Roy, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a conservative think tank, is a fan of the Arkansas plan. He thinks Medicaid is a failed program and the uninsured are better in private policies.
But Roy still has his concerns, what he calls the "$500 billion question." Pointing out that health exchange plans are roughly 50 percent higher than Medicaid -- $9,000 compared to $6,000 on average -– Roy said Arkansas could take money away from other states.