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Federal Judge Rejects Gov. Scott's Request For Mediation In LIP Lawsuit

A federal judge has rejected Governor Rick Scott’s request for mediation in a fight over a program reimbursing hospitals for treating the uninsured. The Scott administration is suing the federal government.

Governor Rick Scott claims the federal government is trying to coerce the state into expanding Medicaid by reducing the low-income pool program.  

Chief U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers’s order notes a hearing on the case is set for next week to hear the Governor’s request for a preliminary injunction. And she says any court-ordered mediation on short notice is, "unduly burdensome, expensive, and not likely to advance the process any faster than the expedited proceeding currently scheduled."

The federal government calls the Governor’s lawsuit baseless. It’s capping the Low-Income pool program at $1 billion, with plans to phase it out completely in the next few years. Florida lawmakers are currently building a budget using the $1 billion  figure and are trying to find ways to make up the cut to the program.

“It is disappointing that the Obama Administration keeps delaying their decision on funding the Low Income Pool in Florida.  We will continue to fight for this important funding for low income families any and every way we can," said Governor Rick Scott in a statement.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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