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Florida governor plans DC trip to settle ObamaCare funding fight

Florida governor plans DC trip to settle ObamaCare funding fight

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced Tuesday he is headed to Washington, D.C., to make another plea for the federal grant money that he believes his state was denied because he chose not to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare.

Scott plans to meet with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell on Wednesday to press his case for the $1 billion in federal funding to support Florida hospitals that remain at stake.

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“We hope HHS will reconsider LIP funding in Florida,” he wrote in a statement. “It’s critical for us to get that information immediately so the Legislature can construct a budget that best meets the needs of low income families during a special session.”

The governor will be paying a visit to the Obama administration one week after filing a lawsuit claiming the government’s funding denial was an effort to “coerce” Florida into expanding Medicaid. The governors of Texas and Kansas — also Republicans — filed amicus briefs in the case late Monday.

HHS did not immediately return a request for comment about who called the meeting and whether Burwell and Scott had previously spoken about the issue.

Government officials have said they will not continue the hospital funding — known as the Low Income Pool —  after the June expiration date, arguing the money should not go toward costs that would otherwise be covered by an expansion of Medicaid under ObamaCare.

The Florida Legislature has remained fiercely split on the expansion, which would bring a windfall of federal dollars to cover the costs of people who could then sign up for the low-income healthcare program.

The state’s GOP-controlled House have allied with Scott, arguing the program is an overreach of federal power and would eventually harm the state’s budget. Florida’s Senate, which is also run by Republicans, has led the way calling for an expansion, which Scott previously hinted that he may support before running for reelection last fall.

The split over Medicaid has caused an impasse between the chambers, throwing the state’s budget in flux.