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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CBSMiami/AP) —Federal Health officials said they are not suspending negotiations over the potential loss of more than $1 billion in funding for state hospitals, despite rumors the talks were being halted.

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Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Liz Dudek said Wednesday that federal officials were pausing negotiations for at least two weeks because a top official was going on vacation.

Dudek said in a doom and gloom statement that the decision to discontinue negotiations now “is troubling and could signal the abrupt end of this federal healthcare program in Florida.”

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But officials for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services assured everyone Thursday that talks will continue, and they remain in contact with Florida.

Dudek’s statement had Tallahassee lawmakers in a twitter as they try to finalize a new state budget before the end of the session on May 1st. Senate Republicans have vowed that they will not vote for a budget if it requires large cuts to hospitals.

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