Was Florida Targeted in Medicaid Audits by Biden Admin?

Was Florida Targeted in Medicaid Audits by Biden Admin?

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
January 18, 2024

Concerns about the weaponization of government by the Biden Administration have reentered the spotlight as recent evidence suggested Florida was disproportionately subject to Medicaid audits starting in 2023 when Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) began his Presidential campaign for 2024.

According to National Review, the nonprofit watchdog Government Accountability & Oversight obtained over 3,000 pages of emails between members of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). 

The correspondence supposedly placed emphasis on Florida as the subject of auditing for "improper use of Medicaid dollars," as well as Texas and Missouri. More egregiously, the timing of the emails calling for auditing Florida's Medicaid system was roughly around the time Gov. DeSantis was considered a threat to Biden in the upcoming 2024 election.

While no mention is made of this directly, Government Accountability and Oversight lawyer Chris Horner said the timing "just screams weaponization" of the government against political enemies, as blue states such as California, which run Medicaid similarly to Florida, were not subjected to audits.

"CMS targeted Florida at the same time Govern DeSantis’s candidacy to be the Republican presidential nominee was ascendant, and the media was reporting that ‘the prospect of facing upstart Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is prompting whispers of angst within Democratic circles," Horner told National Review.

Florida Secretary for Health Care Administration Jason Weida said this was not the first time the Biden Administration has "targeted" DeSantis because "they are afraid" of him and "We have seen CMS intentionally craft FAQs, send letters, and make rule clarifications that intentionally target how Florida runs its fiscally conservative programs. The constant federal interference creates a chilling effect that is designed to prevent other states from following Florida’s lead."

In April, Federal Judge Robert Hinkle denied DeSantis's request to protect Weida from testifying in a lawsuit against Florida's ban on using Medicaid and Medicare funding for gender-affirming care.

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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