KELLI KENNEDY, Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) — A new report says high premium and co-pay proposals for Florida Medicaid beneficiaries are among the highest in the country and could cause hundreds of thousands to drop out because they can’t afford to pay them.

A report released Wednesday by Georgetown University shows enrollment declines after other states increased premiums.

Florida’s new laws would charge recipients $100 for every non-emergency ER visit and a $10 monthly co-pay.

Sen. Joe Negron says an increase in primary care clinics will reduce the burdens on emergency rooms.

Florida lawmakers said Medicaid costs are commandeering the state budget. The bills place the health care of nearly 3 million Florida residents into the hands of for-profit companies and hospital networks.

The state is waiting for federal health officials to approve the proposal.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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