Oh, that's original: Florida sues feds over Obamacare

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Oh, that's original: Florida sues feds over Obamacare

Well, this is dumb.

As the clock ticks on a proposal to expand Medicaid to roughly a million uninsured Floridians, Governor Rick Scott has filed a lawsuit against the federal government over its withdrawal of Low Income Pool money, because suing people is better than facing the reality that people are suffering and dying because of him and his ilk and he should take the Obamacare money.

The Tampa Bay Times reports Scott is suing because he thinks the federal government's refusal to replenish the state's annual LIP funds by some billion dollars is politically motivated as a way to get back at him for not accepting $51 billion in federal Medicaid money.

LIP, which the federal government is phasing out under the assumption that Obamacare money will more than suffice, is a fund that reimburses hospitals that treat un- and underinsured people in their emergency rooms. Said hospitals would otherwise have to eat those costs. The $51 billion, meanwhile, would help insure those people, thereby investing in their health on the front end, because going to a doctor is cheaper than going to the emergency room.

So obviously, Scott is pissed.

"It is appalling that President Obama would cut off federal healthcare dollars to Florida in an effort to force our state further into Obamacare," Scott said in a written statement. "Not only does President Obama's end to LIP funding in Florida violate the law by crossing the line into a coercion tactic for Obamacare, it also threatens poor families' access to the safety net health care services they need."

To which Tampa-area Congresswoman Kathy Castor, a Democrat, said: 

“In an attempt to cover up his failure to serve the best interests of Floridians, today Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced a wasteful and baseless lawsuit to divert attention away from a budget impasse in the state capital that is largely of his own making," she said in a written statement. "Gov. Scott has been aware of the June expiration of the Low Impact Pool monies for a year, but he included the funds in his proposed state budget anyway. The Florida LIP is a fairly unique provision of Florida’s federally-approved Medicaid waiver, and is greatly in need of reform as it is not the most cost-efficient and effective way to serve Floridians."

She added that he's stuck in "an ideological trap" of his own making. She called the lawsuit a waste of taxpayer dollars, just like the one he filed against the feds earlier this year (using more than $2 million in Florida taxpayer dollars) "to fight a federal judge’s ruling that Florida’s healthcare system for needy and disabled children was inadequate and in violation of several federal laws," according to Castor's statement.

Then there's the one he filed when a federal court determined it was shitty (er, unconstitutional) of him to require all welfare recipients to be drug tested. And the one where he was trying to defend himself against purging voter rolls.

For Democratic leaders in Tallahassee, it's clear that, given that suing people to get your way because you can, and regardless of whether you're right, is just what happens in the business world, it shouldn't surprise us too much that the governor who said he wants to run the state like a CEO is engaging in such behavior.

"It's more of the same from the governor," House Democratic Leader Mark Pafford, of West Palm Beach, told the Times. "It's a corporate reaction: We sue people. The sad thing is it is going to cost the taxpayers."

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