Abe Aboraya

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.

Contact Abe at 407-273-2300 x 183 on Twitter @AbeAboraya or by email

Theresa Civil is a high school junior and a wrestler.

The Orlando teen has a big smile and a big laugh, and she’s got big plans for after high school: She wants to be a homicide detective, get her Ph.D. and become an Army engineer.

She frets about her health. Any little thing wrong, she goes to the doctor.

That used to mean making an appointment and waiting weeks for an opening. Now, Civil sees the doctor in the halls, and the next morning, she’s being seen at Evans Wellness Cottage.

A budget standoff in Florida over federal funding for low-income patients could be ending. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sent a letter to the Agency for Health Care Administration today.

Federal officials had previously said Florida would not continue to get money for the “Low Income Pool” program unless the state agreed to expand Medicaid, an optional portion of the Affordable Care Act. Now, a letter from a top official says Florida likely will get federal funds for the “LIP” program.

Gov. Rick Scott’s hospital commission, tasked with looking at how taxpayer dollars are used to support health care for the poor, discussed performance funding for hospitals at a meeting Tuesday in Orlando.

The nine-member group delved through detailed hospital statistics, and started brainstorming ideas for how to reform hospital payments.

Tom Kuntz, a former chairman of SunTrust, helped build performance funding metrics for Florida’s university system. Kuntz says the hospital commission could look at a similar system for hospitals.

Celisa Perez is at a small shop in the heart of Orlando’s Vietnamese community, not far from Little Vietnam, getting small needles pushed into her face.

Perez has had migraines for 30 years. She’s tried three different medicines to prevent them, but none of them worked. She tried a chiropractor and herbal supplements, but still the debilitating migraines came two to three times a week.

So now Perez is trying acupuncture.

“Deep…breath in…and out,” says Van Nguyen, an acupuncturist.

Florida officials debuted a new proposal Wednesday to try and keep a $2.2 billion dollar health fund for the uninsured. The fund is coming with significant changes. But first, a quick magic trick to demonstrate how LIP works.

Florida takes 40 cents, waves a magic federal wand over, and ta-da: We now have a shiny $1 bill.

Abe Aboraya / WMFE

Florida Gov. Rick Scott stopped shy of saying he would veto an expansion to Medicaid.

Speaking to reporters in Orlando this week, Scott said the federal government can’t be trusted to pay for Medicaid.

But when pressed, he stopped short of saying he would veto an expansion to the health insurance program for the poor.

  Florida could become the first state to criminalize using the wrong bathroom. The Single Sex Bathroom Bill has cleared its second committee in the Florida House.

Morning Edition Host Nicole Creston spoke with Health Reporter Abe Aboraya.

CRESTON: I understand that the transgender community has rallied against this bill. The bill applies to everyone, but the transgender community are the ones caught in the middle since a man who has become a woman could be penalized for walking into a ladies room.

Matthew Robinson loved to have eggs for dinner.
 
But they were out the evening of November 4, 2010. So the 10-year-old and his brother Mark walked out of their Kissimmee apartment and headed across the street to the Kangaroo convenience store.
 

While crossing the street to come home, a city bus made a left turn into the crosswalk and hit the two boys.

Florida is getting closer to allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana.

But first, rules for how to grow the non-euphoric strain of the drug have to be hashed out — and that’s what a committee will be discussing over the next two days in Tallahassee.

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