Gov. Rick Scott said Tuesday he has not decided whether to sign a bill (HB 5301) that would force counties to send tens of millions of dollars in disputed Medicaid payments to the state, reports the News Service of Florida. But Scott said the Agency for Health Care Administration will start a county-by-county review to try to determine how much money local governments owe. “I want to make sure that whether I sign the bill or don’t sign the bill, I don’t want counties to be paying bills that they don’t owe,” Scott said. “I don’t think that’s fair.” Senate leaders contend counties have not fully paid required Medicaid amounts, but counties argue the billing system is riddled with problems. Counties want Scott to veto HB 5301, but the decision also is complicated by other issues included in the legislation. For example, it includes a cost-saving move to limit the number of times Medicaid beneficiaries can visit emergency rooms each year. Also, it would allow children of low- and moderate-income state workers to enroll in the KidCare health-insurance program. Scott faces a March 29 deadline to act on the bill.
Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.