UPDATE: Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday he was dropping the lawsuit filed in federal court in April, accusing the federal government of attempting to use the Low Income Pool funding to "coerce" the state into expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
The cost to taxpayers for the legal challenge: $175,000, according a contract completed Thursday with the Washington, D.C., law firm Bancroft Associates, which represented Scott in Florida's challenge to the Affordable Care Act. Download EXD053 - Bancroft_For Legal (3)
Scott all but conceded the lawsuit was moot on Tuesday when he signed the budget and accepted the terms of the LIP funding model developed by legislators and his agency staff.
But he waited until Thursay to announce he officially dropping the lawsuit -- an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in King v. Burwell to uphold subsidies for the uninsured in states like Florida that have established a federal insurance exchange. Scott had supported the King lawsuit and wants to see the Affordable Care Act repealed.
In a statement, Scott said his lawsuit challenging LIP "was essential to making Obama continue LIP funding," but he cited no facts to back up that claim.
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid told the state last year that the funding for LIP was going to decline as it was phasing out subsidies to states that reimburse hospitals for charity care, but it never claimed it would eliminate all funding.