Rick Scott Says He Won’t Let UF Health Jax Close

Jun 5, 2015

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said, "We’ve got to figure out how we can provide health care less expensively."
Credit The Office of Governor Rick Scott

In Jacksonville Friday, Florida Governor Rick Scott says he’ll make sure that UF Health Jax stays open.

“I’m optimistic, you know. We’re in the session, and I’ll continue to work with the House and the Senate to make sure the right thing happens. And I’ll make sure that we keep all critical services running,” said Scott.

The governor talked to reporters after a Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce luncheon where he was the keynote speaker. Scott says his newly convened Hospital and Health Care Funding Commission is touring the state to compare how hospitals are run.

“We’ve got to make sure that, one, you know what things are going to cost you, and, [two], it’s less expensive with good quality care with good access,” said Scott.

The Commission stops in Jacksonville at the end of this month.

Scott is also suing the federal government over health-care funding, saying it tried to coerce Florida into expanding Medicaid by withholding another pool of money for uninsured patients.  

While that program, called LIP, was set to expire at the end of this month, the feds have agreed to continue funding it about half the rate.

Scott’s proposal for how to distribute the remaining LIP money leaves UF Health with a loss of nearly $37 million. UF Health Jax CEO Russ Armistead says the hospital is in danger of closing at that level of funding.