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Ga. State Senate expected to pass Medicaid plan
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ATLANTA (AP) — Leading Georgia Senate officials say they expect the Senate to pass Gov. Nathan Deal's proposal for a new Medicaid financing scheme that will spare lawmakers from voting directly on a tax.

The governor's plan calls for giving an appointed state health policy board the power to set assessments on Georgia hospitals, with the money then being used to secure additional federal support for the Medicaid insurance program. The plan would replace an expiring tax on hospitals' net patient revenue that qualifies for about $450 million in federal support. Lawmakers don't want to lose that money, but want to avoid renewing a tax.

Deal proposed Senate Bill 24 on Monday, the session's opening day. Senators are expected to debate it Thursday after Deal addresses a joint session of the General Assembly.