Washington, D.C. partner Jesse Witten was quoted in a Modern Healthcare article titled, “Administration bears down on states to expand Medicaid.”
The article discusses the Obama administration’s move to tie the renewal of Florida’s federal Medicare waiver to the state expanding its Medicaid coverage. The $1 - $2 billion Florida receives annually to help its safety net providers with uncompensated-care costs would otherwise expire this coming June. The move shows that the administration is becoming stricter in enforcing the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Florida Governor Rich Scott has threatened to sue if this approach is used, arguing that it violates a decision by the Supreme Court in 2012.
Jesse commented on the chances of Scott succeeding in court. The issue is that the 2012 Supreme Court rule was based on withholding all federal Medicaid funding, not the small portion involved in this waiver program. “There is no precedent of where to draw the line, says Jesse. “It’s less than a full-blown shutdown of the Medicaid program, but (it’s) significant.”