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Fla. counties call on Governor to veto controversial Medicaid reimbursement bill | News

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Fla. counties call on Governor to veto controversial Medicaid reimbursement bill
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Tallahassee, Florida - County governments across Florida are really mad over legislation that they say creates the worst type of government.

State lawmakers passed a controversial bill that would shift $300 million in disputed Medicaid bills to counties. Currently, those bills are paid with revenue sharing cash from the state. But now Florida wants to take some of that money to cover the backlogged bills.

Counties say under the measure, they would also lose the chance to see Medicaid bills before the cash is taken away.

Cragin Mosteller of the Florida Association of Counties says that's like garnishing a paycheck for bills that counties don't even get to see.

"The Legislature has really taken something that is an example of the worst type of government, the type of government policy that everyone dislikes, and rather than investing to fix the system they've committed to make it law. We hope the governor, who is committing to having government act more like a business, will recognize that denying counties the chance to make sure that they are only responsible for what their taxpayers owe, rather than garnishing quote, the paycheck, he'll recognize that's not good business."

Mosteller says the legislation would cost Hillsborough and Pinellas counties more than $20 million and Duval County would lose $8 million.

Supporters of the legislation say it creates a reasonable buffer for disputed bills. They say the average disputed amount is nine percent and counties will be required to pay only 85 percent of the backlogged bills over the next five years.

Counties are calling on Gov. Rick Scott to veto the bill. He must act on the measure by March 29.

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