WASHINGTON - Gov. Rick Scott's trip here in search of a way to plug Florida's hospital funding shortfall didn't pay off.
Scott met with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary this morning to talk about renewing a $2.2 billion hospital funding program for Florida. HHS has told Florida the program is being phased out. Afterward, Scott told reporters "we don't have a resolution" to the funding dispute.
Florida lawmakers have been unable to agree on how to plug the gap left by ending the Low Income Pool (LIP) program or whether to endorse a Medicaid expansion, a conflict that led to the abrupt end of the Legislature's regular session a week ago. The state has not yet approved a budget for its fiscal year beginning July 1.
"Now we're in a time crunch," Scott said. "If we don't have an answer our only solution is a base budget. That's what I'm working on now, is to make sure that we keep government working. Let's remember, this started with a federal government program for low-income families. Low income families deserve to have an answer."
--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times