AG Bondi Defends Healthcare Lawsuit As Scott Lobbies Washington For Funding

May 5, 2015

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says Medicaid and the Low Income Pool funds should be separated.
Credit The Florida Channel

Governor Rick Scott is going to Washington D.C. to lobby for the renewal of federal funds that reimburse hospitals for uncompensated care. But at the same time, he’s suing the federal government over the same program.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says the lawsuit is not about Medicaid—but about what the federal government can, and can’t do.

“They’re threatening us with one program, saying they’ll take it away,' Bondi said of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notice that a renewal of the Low Income Pool could be contingent on whether Florida expands Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

"It doesn’t matter if it’s [Medicaid Expansion] optional. We’ve had it [Low Income Pool Funding] more than a decade and it helps our citizens of Florida. Medicaid expansion is a separate issue. That will be determined by our lawmakers, but not the federal government threatening us," Bondi said.

The Senate wants to have an expansion, but the governor and the House are opposed, leading to a legislative budget stalemate. Florida is one of nine states that receive LIP funds. They're supplemental dollars that reimburse hospitals for uncompensated care, and are separate from  traditional Medicaid where the state and federal government partner to pay for services.