Feds Offer Florida Partial Payment in ObamaCare Spat

The Obama administration on Thursday agreed to give Florida some but not all of its requested federal funds for hospitals, the latest move in a fight over ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) last month sued the Obama administration over what he called an effort to force his state to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare, by withholding funds for a separate federal program that compensates hospitals for treating uninsured people, called the Low Income Pool (LIP).

The allegations of coercion have spilled onto Capitol Hill, where Republicans have announced a hearing on the issue this summer and have written to President Obama calling on him to stop the “overreach.”

The Obama administration has countered that the LIP decision will be made “regardless” of Medicaid expansion but noted that LIP funds should be tailored so they do not cover costs that would otherwise be covered by Medicaid expansion.

That is, it argues it is a better system to give poor people insurance in the first place through Medicaid, rather than reimburse hospitals for treating uninsured people, as LIP does.