Medicaid

Health Care
3:15 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Miami Nurses In Tallahassee Find Legislation Has No Desire To Extend Medicaid

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

The campaign to expand Medicaid for Florida's uninsured poor continued in Tallahassee last week with a mass lobby conducted by doctors and nurses from Miami's Jackson Hospital. They went from office to office in the Capitol seeking legislative support, but got basically nowhere.

Hear the full story:

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Session 2014
7:00 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Session Preview: Tax Cuts And Rosy Budget Outlook In An Election Year

Activists rally outside the Capitol on the eve of Session 2014.
Credit Gina Jordan/WLRN

March 4 marks the start of the 2014 Florida Legislative session at the Capitol. It runs through May 2.

For two months, lawmakers will consider proposed legislation on everything from marijuana to red-light cameras.

All they really have to do is come up with a spending plan for the fiscal year that begins in July.  Gov. Rick Scott is recommending half a billion dollars in tax and fee cuts.

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Beckham's Charm Offensive To Bring Soccer To Miami

David Beckham, center, poses with Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber, left, and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez at a press conference at Perez Art Museum to announce his interest in creating an MLS team in Miami.
Credit HECTOR GABINO / EL NUEVO HERALD

International soccer star David Beckham says the only thing keeping pro soccer from Miami is a stadium. That is indeed a challenge. While Beckham has said he doesn’t want “public funding,” his group has hired a Tallahassee lobbyist to pursue to a sales-tax subsidy, and it’s unclear if he’ll pay market rate for any public site.  

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Health Care
9:11 am
Wed October 23, 2013

States' Refusal To Expand Medicaid May Leave Millions Uninsured

Protesters fill the Miami office of state Rep. Manny Diaz Jr. on Sept. 20 to protest his stance against expansion of health coverage in Florida.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 12:12 pm

President Obama on Tuesday appointed one of his top management gurus, Jeffrey Zeints, to head the team working to fix what ails HealthCare.gov, the troubled website that's supposed to allow residents of 36 states to enroll in coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

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Health Care
3:56 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

New Medicaid Managed Care System Expands To South Florida

Credit medicaid.gov

Thousands of low-income seniors in Southwest Florida and areas of the East Coast are poised this weekend to become part of the state's long-debated shift to a Medicaid managed-care system.

The change, which will take effect Sunday, will involve an estimated 13,450 people in 12 counties who need long-term care --- most of them seniors. It is part of a gradual move that ultimately will lead to almost all Florida Medicaid beneficiaries enrolling in HMOs or other types of managed-care plans.

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Health Care
6:44 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Curtains Open On Medicaid Managed Care In Florida

Credit medicaid.gov

More than two years after Florida lawmakers passed a controversial plan to transform the Medicaid system, it's showtime.

As of Thursday, about 9,300 central Florida residents who need long-term care --- the vast majority of them seniors --- will become the first participants in a statewide move to enroll almost all Medicaid beneficiaries in HMOs and other types of managed-care plans.

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Health Care
3:50 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Insurance Giant Humana To Buy Key Player In Medicaid Program

Credit medicaid.gov

As Florida prepares to move forward next month with shifting thousands of seniors into Medicaid managed-care plans, Humana, Inc., announced that it will buy a major player in the program.

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Health Care
6:41 am
Mon July 1, 2013

You Ask, We Answer: Demystifying The Affordable Care Act

Families soon will be able to sign up for new health insurance options through the Affordable Care Act. In Washington, D.C., Dr. Cheryl Focht of Mary's Center performs a checkup of Jayson Gonzalez, 16, while his mother, Elizabeth Lopez, looks on.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 10:25 am

The biggest changes in health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act are set to begin less than three months from now. Oct. 1 is when people can start signing up for coverage in new state health exchanges. The policies would kick in on Jan. 1, 2014.

It can all be a little confusing, we agree. So two weeks ago, we asked what you wanted to know about the health law.

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Health Care
4:12 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Outreach For New Health Insurance Exchanges Targets Latinos

Elva Jaldin, a promotora, talks with Andrea Velandia about health. Soon Jaldin will help women like Velandia sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Jenny Gold

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 6:05 pm

Andrea Velandia, 29, is just the sort of person the architects of the new health insurance marketplaces had in mind when they were thinking about future customers.

She's young, in good health, uninsured and Latino.

"We're very healthy. We don't have many issues," she says of her family. For the most part, she and her husband avoid the health system. "It's very expensive to go to the doctor to get a regular checkup," she says. "And you only have an option to go to the emergency room, which is even more expensive."

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Health Care
10:45 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Top Medicare Prescribers Rake In Speaking Fees From Drugmakers

How does the doctor decide what to write on the prescription pad?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 5:38 pm

When the blood pressure drug Bystolic hit the market in 2008, it faced a crowded field of cheap generics.

So its maker, Forest Laboratories, launched a promotional assault on the group in the best position to determine Bystolic's success: those in control of prescription pads. It flooded the offices of health professionals with drug reps, and it hired doctors to persuade their peers to choose Bystolic — even though the drug hadn't proved more effective than competitors.

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Health Care
4:17 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Could LeBron And RGIII Help Sell The Affordable Care Act?

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III already promotes Subway sandwiches. Will health insurance be next?
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 5:26 pm

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Health Care
12:15 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

With Health Exchanges Poised To Open, PR Push Draws Scrutiny

In San Jose, Calif., on June 6, President Obama encouraged people to sign up for insurance in the nation's largest health insurance market.
Stephen Lam Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 9:07 pm

This weekend marks 100 days until people can begin signing up for new health insurance coverage under the federal health care law. It also marks another milestone: the launch of an enormous public relations effort to find people eligible for new coverage and urge them to sign up when the time comes.

But like everything else about the health law, even this seemingly innocuous effort has been touched by controversy.

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Florida Legislature
1:25 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

What Tallahassee Lawmakers Failed To Do in 2013

Credit Wikipedia

Editor's Note: Be sure to check out an interactive bill tracker of this year's session from the Miami Herald.

It's curtains for Session 2013 in Tallahassee but a feeling persists that not much was accomplished during the last two months.

Dolphins Stadium

Here in South Florida, the clock ran out on the Miami Dolphins' 2-minute drill for state help on renovations to Sun Life Stadium.

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Florida Legislature
7:00 am
Thu May 2, 2013

It's All About 'Mary' The Auto Reader In Tallahassee

'Mary' was introduced in the House this week. The-auto reader has its own Twitter account with hundreds of followers.
Credit Twitter

Speaker Will Weatherford introduced a new member of the Florida House this week.

“Members, we have an auto-reader. We had it in the closet just in case we ever had to actually read the bills,” Weatherford said amid laughs from the chamber. “It may be a little bit faster than normal.”

Weatherford's communications director announced on Twitter that the auto-reader's name is Mary.

Within an hour of her debut, Mary had her own Twitter handle - @HouseAutoReader. Some of her tweets include “I'm so bored” and “Anybody have a cure for the hiccups?”

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Gun Control
1:24 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Wasserman-Schultz: GOP Faces Consequences After Gun Vote

Credit Deborah Acosta / WLRN / The Miami Herald

It's been a busy week in Washington, D.C.

As lawmakers react to the Boston Marathon bombings, parts of the Capitol had to be evacuated after suspicious letters addressed to U.S. Senator Roger Wicker and President Barack Obama were intercepted at mail screening facilities.

While dealing with that scare, members of Congress are getting their first look at a proposal for immigration reform put forth by the so-called "Gang of Eight" Senators including Florida's freshman Republican Marco Rubio.

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