The state Agency for Health Care Administration filed suit in federal court today, demanding access to Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals. News of the lawsuit, requested by Gov. Rick Scott, comes as the U.S. Senate announced a bipartisan agreement that addresses ongoing issues at the network of federally run health clinics for veterans.
The Florida lawsuit information is posted here.
Scott and AHCA officials have been bickering with the federal VA agency for the past few weeks as state inspectors have demaneded access to the hospitals under the auspices of ensuring veterans are being treated fairly. The News Service of Florida reported that state investigators claim being denied access to clinics in Gainesville, Lake City, Miami, Tampa, St. Petersburg and West Palm Beach.
Scott's interest in the issue has been described as an effort to win votes from the military community as he seeks re-election. He is capitalizing off a series of negative headlines pertaining to the VA, including the resignation of Secretary Eric Shinseki and reports about potential cover-ups of delayed care at 26 health clinics nationwide, including at least one in Florida.
The state has also accused the federal government of failing to respond to public record requests for VA documents.