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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown blasts Gov. Scott over VA lawsuit



U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, blasted Republican Gov. Rick Scott Tuesday for his decision to sue the Veterans Administration in an effort to get state health care inspectors into federal veterans' hospitals. She said Scott's "unprecedented" action "could be a violation of the law."

Referring to the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), which runs Florida's Medicaid program, Brown reminded Scott that Florida has refused to expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. She wrote: "Ironically, the same agency you directed to make these unauthorized visits, purportedly out of a concern for the quality of health care being provided to our veterans, has failed to provide health services to 900,000 deserving Floridians."

State health officials made surprise visits to Florida's six VA hospitals and other VA-operated facilities in April and May and were blocked from entering each time, The Associated Press reported. VA officials told state officials that federal facilities aren't subject to state laws.

"The VA's refusal to permit any such inspection or respond to FOIA public records requests, in the face of an ever-growing body of consumer complaint evidence, has led AHCA to be reasonably concerned that the VA is failing the very population it is charged by Congress with protecting: America's veterans and their families," the state lawsuit said.

 "I would recommend that you and the state agencies you oversee focus on the many serious problems facing the citizens of Florida," Brown wrote.

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 5:39pm]


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