"Although Republicans voted against what they called 'traditional Medicaid expansion' they turned around and endorsed a program that still relies on the same federal dollars and still extends affordable health care to 1 million Floridians," Senate Minority Leader Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, said. "Whatever name they opt to give the program, the bottom line is that money allocated by the federal government for Medicaid expansion will be the mechanism. In the Senate, the remaining question is no longer ‘if,’ but ‘who.’ "

But Senate Republicans, who have long complained about the costs and size of Medicaid, sought during the meeting to distance themselves from a potential expansion of the program.

"I think fixing health care is not expanding a broken system,'' said Senate Health Policy Chairman Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach. "Medicaid … it's not good."