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Scott to Negotiate FL Hospital Funds in D.C.

Gov. Rick Scott is heading to Washington to try to convince the Obama administration to release federal funds for hospitals that treat low-income and Medicaid patients.

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Credit Associated Press

The Republican governor wants an extension on the more than $1 billion funds that expire next month. But the federal government wants states to expand Medicaid, arguing it's more efficient to give people money to help buy health insurance than to pay hospitals for caring for the uninsured retroactively.

Scott said he'll meet with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell Wednesday to seek an answer so the gridlocked Florida Legislature can create a budget when they convene for a special session.

The governor filed a lawsuit last month accusing federal officials of illegally coercing the state to expand Medicaid to get the hospital funds. Governors in Kansas and Texas have pledged support.

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