Fla., Obama administration reach agreement on funding
The Obama administration and Florida have reached an agreement in principle to continue funding the state’s hospital low-income pool for two more years but at a much lower level.
Florida will receive $1 billion this year—about half of what it has been receiving—and $600 million for 201617. The federal government still must wait until the end of a public review to issue its final ruling. The fight over the funds tore apart Florida’s regular legislative session in April over proposals to expand Medicaid coverage and prompted Republican Gov. Rick Scott to sue the federal government, contending the administration’s move was an attempt at coercion.
Scott credited his lawsuit with helping to extend the federal funding. He also used the opportunity to criticize hospitals relying on the funds. Scott in recent months has become increasingly adversarial toward hospitals that receive tax dollars. He has tried to convince lawmakers that hospitals are not as bad off financially as they maintain. Some hospitals have said they would be forced to shut down or cut services without the funds.