- Associated Press - Monday, April 20, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida is submitting a proposal to the federal government based on a Senate plan to extend funding for hospitals that treat low-income patients.

The proposal would extend funds through June 2017. It also distributes the $2 billion funding more broadly and includes money for Florida medical schools, county health departments and federally qualified health centers.

State health officials said Monday they need a speedy answer from the federal government so lawmakers can build the decision into the budget. The state says it submitted three other proposals last month.

The state and feds have fought bitterly over the funds for the past year. Gov. Rick Scott announced last week that he plans to sue the federal government for withholding the hospitals funds because he won’t expand Medicaid.

But the Obama administration says buying health insurance for patients directly is more effective than paying the hospitals that care for the uninsured.

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