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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – A dozen Republicans in Florida’s congressional delegation sent a letter this week to President Barack Obama calling for continuation of the Low Income Pool health-funding program.

The letter from U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and 11 U.S. House members took issue with efforts by the federal Department of Health and Human Services to link funding for the LIP program with an expansion of Medicaid in Florida. The $2.2 billion Low Income Pool program, which is scheduled to expire June 30, sends additional money to hospitals and other providers that care for large numbers of uninsured patients.

Uncertainty about the future of the so-called LIP program has played a key role in a budget impasse in the state Legislature.

In the letter to Obama, the congressional Republicans described linking LIP to Medicaid expansion as an “inappropriate overreach” and listed major hospitals that would be hit hard by a loss of LIP money.

“The well-being of Florida’s low-income families will remain in jeopardy until your administration approves funding for these vital health services,” said the letter from Rubio and congressmen Vern Buchanan, Jeff Miller, John Mica, Dennis Ross, Gus Bilirakis, Ron DeSantis, Ted Yoho, Rich Nugent, Mario Diaz-Balart, Carlos Curbelo and Tom Rooney.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

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