Florida to get $1.5 billion to help hospitals treat poor

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida will get $1.5 billion in federal hospital funds in the coming year, a last-minute windfall that could help bridge a gap in the state Legislature over a new state budget.

Gov. Rick Scott and the Trump administration on Wednesday jointly announced the decision to provide the state money to help its hospitals treat low-income patients.

The decision is a turnaround from two years ago when the Obama administration decided to scale back money to the state. The federal government at the time argued the state should instead draw down federal money to expand the number of Floridians who were eligible for Medicaid.

The Senate on Wednesday voted unanimously for an $85 billion budget that was already counting on getting federal hospital funds this year. But the House did not include the money.

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