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Federal judge schedules hearing on Rick Scott’s Low Income Pool lawsuit

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A federal court in Pensacola has scheduled a hearing on Gov. Rick Scott‘s lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services and preliminary injunction to require the federal government to keep Low Income Pool funding at more than $2 billion.

The hearing in Scott v. Department of Health and Human Services is scheduled for June 19, one day before the scheduled end of the 2015A special session on health care and the budget.

Chief Judge Casey M Rodgers issued an order on Friday noting that “upon review of the motion and response, the Court finds that oral argument would be beneficial in the consideration of the issues presented.” Rodgers was appointed to the court by George W. Bush in 2003.

The federal government unsuccessfully argued in a 35-page motion filed June 1 that “judicial involvement in the administrative review process and ongoing discussions between the Secretary and Florida would be both inappropriate and unnecessary.”

The government also argued that the state did not show a likelihood of success on the merits or to satisfy any of the prerequisites for emergency relief.

Scott filed a lawsuit shortly after the House of Representatives adjourned for the regular legislative session due to an impasse on Medicaid expansion and the Low Income Pool program. The governor argued that the federal government suddenly ended the supplemental Medicaid program as a way to force the state into a Medicaid expansion under the federal healthcare law, often called Obamacare.

“This administration is effectively attempting to coerce Florida into Obamacare by ending an existing federal healthcare program and telling us to expand Medicaid instead. This sort of coercion tactic has already been called illegal by the U.S. Supreme Court,” the suit notes.

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