FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida lawmakers considering how to implement the federal health care overhaul sought information Tuesday from two economists on the Massachusetts initiative that served as the blueprint for the national plan.

Massachusetts pioneered an approach emulated in the federal Affordable Care Act with its 2006 health care initiative and is the only state that requires individuals to have health insurance.

"I thought it would be helpful to examine the results so far in Massachusetts and consider implications of that experience for Florida. Not everyone agrees with the Massachusetts experiment and how it's turned out," said Republican Sen. Joe Negron, the chairman of a Senate committee studying the health overhaul.

Jonathan Gruber, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who helped craft the state's law, hailed it as "a great success" that dropped the number of insured residents by two-thirds and lowered premiums by about 50 percent. He said the initiative did so without crowding out private insurers.

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