rene_garcia.jpgTALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Medicaid expansion seems like a dead issue this Legislative session in Florida, but many lawmakers aren't giving up.

Republican Sen. Rene Garcia called on members of the Florida Legislature to accept $51 billion in federal money to extend health care coverage to nearly 1 million uninsured.

Garcia is sponsoring a bill (SB 710) that would accept $51 billion in federal funding to expand a Medicaid alternative that would allow recipients to purchase private insurance. The Senate supported a similar bill last year, but the House did not.

Garcia, Democratic Rep. Amanda Murphy and the President of the League of Women Voters of Florida held a press conference in Tallahassee on Wednesday.

Garcia questioned why Florida accepts federal funding for transportation and education, but refused to take money for health care.