Economists: Federal Health Care Law to Cost Fla. Taxpayers $5.2 Billion

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- State economists are now projecting that it would cost Florida taxpayers about $5.2 billion over the next decade to pay for President Barack Obama's health overhaul.

Economists on Thursday adopted the projection, which is far lower than a figure used earlier this year by Gov. Rick Scott.

The total amount includes the cost of expanding Medicaid coverage to nearly 1 million Floridians. But that expansion plan is in limbo after House Speaker Will Weatherford this week came out in sharp opposition.

State economists also project that Florida would draw down in excess of $51 billion in federal aid if the state expanded Medicaid.

Scott is in favor of expansion, but earlier this year he contended it would cost nearly $26 billion over a 10 year period.

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