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The Florida Senate

Minority Office — Press Release


March 24, 2021

CONTACT: Michelle DeMarco, 850.487.5833

Senate Democratic Leader Gary Farmer, Senator Lauren Book Praise House Speaker Embrace of Medicaid Expansion for Pregnant Women, Urge Senate To Adopt Similar Measure

Tallahassee —

On behalf of the Senate Democratic Caucus, Senate Democratic Leader Gary Farmer (D-Lighthouse Point) and Senate Committee on Children, Families and Elder Affairs Chair Lauren Book (D-Plantation) on Wednesday praised news that GOP House Speaker Chris Sprowls had embraced an initiative from the Biden Administration to extend Medicaid coverage for maternity care for a full year to pregnant women. The one-year expansion, allowed as an option under the $1.9 trillion federal stimulus package, would likely be enacted through the state budget process. 

“We were very encouraged by the Speaker’s progressive announcement to expand Medicaid maternal benefits to low-income pregnant women,” said the Senators, both of whom are members of the Senate Health Policy Committee. “This is a wonderful first step in putting Floridians’ tax dollars to work for Floridians’ health care. And we hope the Governor and the Senate President follow suit. Senator Book’s SB238, which would revise Medicaid eligibility for post-partum women, is still awaiting its first committee hearing. 

“But we can and should go so much further. By fully expanding Medicaid, we would not only ensure health care during pregnancy, but health care for all stages in the lives of the working poor in Florida.”