Arguments set on Medicaid ballot proposal

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The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments Feb. 6 on a proposed constitutional amendment that would expand Medicaid coverage in the state.

The court scheduled the arguments Friday, two days after a political committee backing the proposed amendment requested oral arguments.

The committee Florida Decides Healthcare is seeking to take the issue to voters in 2022 after Republican lawmakers have refused repeatedly in recent years to expand Medicaid to low-income adults who currently don’t qualify for coverage. Such an expansion is allowed under the federal Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, with Washington picking up most of the cost for newly covered people.

The Supreme Court plays a critical role because it determines whether proposed ballot wording meets legal tests, such as not being misleading. The Florida House and Senate filed briefs last month arguing that the Supreme Court should reject the proposed amendment on a series of grounds. But Florida Decides Healthcare filed a brief Wednesday contending that the measure meets the legal tests and should be allowed to appear on the ballot.