It’s going to be tough for Rick Scott to successfully argue the Obama administration is bullying him on Medicaid.
The administration is dangling a pot of funds used to cover the costs of the uninsured as bait for Florida and other states to accept Obamcare’s Medicaid expansion — a move that has prompted the Republican governor to plot a lawsuit, insisting he’s being coerced into accepting a major part of the Affordable Care Act that’s supposed to be optional.
“It is appalling that President Obama would cut off federal health care dollars to Florida in an effort to force our state further into Obamacare,” Scott said on April 16.
Opponents of the 2010 health care law already won part of one major court battle using a coercion argument. Three years ago, in NFIB v. Sebelius, a case challenging the law’s constitutionality led by Florida, the Supreme Court agreed that the administration can’t withhold all of a state’s Medicaid funds if it refuses to expand the program. That led to nearly half the states opting out of it.