Published: Dec 22, 2010 5:15 PM EST
Updated: Dec 22, 2010 2:15 PM EST

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink has released a study showing a proposal to shield Medicaid doctors from malpractice claims would cost Florida $69 million annually. Sink, a Democrat who narrowly lost to Republican Rick Scott in last month's gubernatorial election, sent a letter to leaders of the GOP-controlled Legislature outlining the potential costs Tuesday.

Lawmakers are considering a proposal to extend the state's limited immunity from lawsuits to Medicaid providers.

Sink said that means taxpayers, rather than doctors and their insurers, would pay verdicts or settlements of up to $100,000 per person for their mistakes - a limit that will increase to $200,000 next October.

The Legislature also can lift the cap on a case-by-case basis.

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