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CMS to Florida: LIP is not linked to Medicaid expansion

Hours after Gov. Rick Scott announced he's filed a lawsuit suing the federal government for linking the Low Income Pool to Medicaid expansion, CMS released a statement saying that LIP funding is "not dependent on whether it expands Medicaid." Here's the lawsuit. 

Here's the statement from Aaron Albright, spokesman for CMS:

“The decision to expand Medicaid, or not, is a state decision. We will work with Florida and each state that has an uncompensated care pool regardless of its Medicaid expansion status, to support access to health care for low-income residents that works for individuals, hospitals and taxpayers, taking into account the state’s specific circumstances. CMS will review proposals regarding uncompensated care pools based on the same principles whether or not a state has expanded Medicaid.” 

Additional background information from CMS:

·         We do not comment on pending legal action.

·         Uncompensated care pools, such as the Low Income Pool in Florida, are optional demonstration programs that CMS has approved for a limited time period to enable states to help offset the costs borne by health care providers in providing care to uninsured residents. 

·         The LIP is authorized as part of a broader optional, time limited demonstration program, and that authority has long been scheduled to expire June 30.

·         Whether or not a state receives federal funding for an uncompensated care pool is not dependent on whether it expands Medicaid.   However, as we said in our April 14 letter, pool funding should not pay for costs that would be covered in a Medicaid expansion. 

·         In addition, we said that Medicaid payments should support services provided to beneficiaries and low-income uninsured individuals; and provider payment rates must be sufficient to promote provider participation and access, and support plans in managing and coordinating care.