AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today filed an amicus brief in support of Governor Rick Scott and the State of Florida’s lawsuit against the Obama administration’s unlawful attempt to coerce the State of Florida into a massive expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Governor Abbott released the following statement:
“The federal government has overstepped its constitutional authority and ignored the Supreme Court’s decision in NFIB v. Sebelius, where the Court held that Congress could not coerce States into accepting a massive expansion of an already broken and bloated Medicaid program. The State of Texas will exercise its constitutional right to refuse Medicaid expansion, and we support the State of Florida’s effort to do the same.”
“[The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)] has threatened to withhold from Florida billions of dollars in Medicaid payments, and it has issued similar threats to Texas, Kansas, and others,” wrote Governor Abbott in the amicus brief. “These threats are surely just the beginning of a nationwide campaign to hold hostage federal waiver dollars in those States who are standing firm on their constitutional right to refuse the new Medicaid.
“No litigant should be put to the choice of surrendering its day in court against an agency that is violating the constitution, or facing unjustifiable retaliation by the same agency in the future. HHS’s public reasons for harassing Florida do not withstand scrutiny. The agency picked this fight with Florida in an unlawful attempt to isolate, intimidate, and coerce, [and] the court should grant Florida’s request for declaratory and injunctive relief.”
To view the amicus brief in its entirety, click here.