TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — State economists said growth in Florida's once-exploding Medicaid program is slowing and predicted Monday that Medicaid spending will increase by a relatively modest $1.3 billion, or 6.3 percent, in the next budget year.

Economists estimated the state will spend $20.2 billion in the current fiscal year and nearly $21.5 billion in 2012-13.

The numbers are a surprise considering lawmakers have warned the past few years that burgeoning Medicaid costs would consume the state budget.

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