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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Puerto Rican governor asks for Rick Scott's help asking for Medicaid increase



Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló on Friday issued a warning to Gov. Rick Scott: Help Puerto Rico advocate for more federal Medicaid money, or caring for the island's poor could become Florida's problem.

After next year, the feds are expected to send dramatically less Medicaid money to Puerto Rico, which already gets an "inequitable" amount compared to states, Rosselló wrote. If there are additional cuts, he said, more Puerto Ricans could flock to the mainland United States, and Florida would be a likely place for them to go.

"If this issue is not addressed by Congress in the very near future, the fallout will be felt not only in Puerto Rico but also in the states because the already high rate of migration of U.S. citizens moving from Puerto Rico to the states will likely increase significantly, affecting Florida in particular," the letter says.

With Congress currently considering a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, Rosselló says now is the perfect time to act on Puerto Rico's Medicaid problems.

Scott, a former hospital executive and outspoken critic of the ACA, has been involved in putting together and pitching the Republicans' replacement plan.

Similar letters were sent to governors in 12 other states, including Ohio, Texas, New York and California.

[Last modified: Monday, March 20, 2017 4:33pm]


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