health care

There's only a few more weeks until open enrollment begins for healthcare plans on the federal Health Insurance Marketplace, also called Obamacare.

An estimated 22 percent of Miami-Dade County residents were uninsured last year, making Miami the second most uninsured metro area in the country.

In a speech at Howard University, Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell identified Miami as one of the fed’s target areas going into this third year of the health insurance enrollment.

In a small room covered with posters for diabetes prevention and free eye clinics, and a physician’s desk stacked with papers, Karen Cascone meets with her nurse practitioner.

When multiple sclerosis patient Meesha Cook suffers a seizure, she doesn’t get to decide where she’ll go for treatment.

If the Brevard County resident is at her job, as a cashier at Lowe’s Home Improvement in Rockledge, paramedics take her down the road to Wuesthoff Medical Center.

If she’s at home in Viera, the next town south, they take her to the hospital there.

Eleonora Edreva / WLRN

Medicare and Medicaid were established 50 years ago on July 30.

To celebrate the occasion, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had an event at Florida International University to reflect on the impact of the programs during the past half century, as well as look forward at how they can keep expanding and improving.

The event was themed as a birthday party, with a performance by a group of dancers from Little Havana and cake for everyone once the speakers were done.

UM Lowe Art Museum / Courtesy

The University of Miami is adding Baroque paintings and Greek vases to its diagnostic arsenal.

Medical, nursing and physical therapy students at UM are supplementing their clinical training with visits to the Lowe Art Museum at the university’s Coral Gables campus. There, they discuss works of art in small groups and make connections to health care.

Hope Torrents, the Lowe’s school programs coordinator, calls these visits the Fine Art of Health Care. She runs the workshops, which began in 2008.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Gov. Rick Scott’s Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding’s “Spotlight Transparency Tour” made its last scheduled stop Thursday at Miami-Dade College’s Medical Campus.

Jackson, Molina Officials To Face Hospital Commission

Jul 22, 2015
Lottie Watts / WUSF

A commission formed by Gov. Rick Scott to delve into health-care funding issues will meet Thursday in Miami and hear a presentation from Jackson Health System President and CEO Carlos Migoya and insurance officials.

The Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding will meet at the Miami Dade College Medical Campus and also will hear presentations by David Pollack, president of the insurer Molina Healthcare of Florida, Inc., and Eric Johnson, director of life and health product review at the state Office of Insurance Regulation.

For the past three years, public health activists have been trying to convince Florida lawmakers to support a needle-exchange program to fight the HIV epidemic in South Florida, and for the past three years they’ve been turned down.

One Miami activist refuses to wait for lawmakers. George Gibson is an ordained minister. Nearly everyone calls him Elder as in a church elder.

He says his needle-exchange program is related to his religious work.

“I see it as being an AIDS ministry,” he said.

Charles Williams is sitting at a table with two of the young men he mentors. They get together at least twice a week.

On this day, they’re talking about sex. More specifically,  about protection.

“In the heat of the moment sometimes, a guy doesn't necessarily reach for a condom,” Williams tells Dwayne Jackson, 14, and Traivon Harris, 15. 

The boys get bashful and chuckle at William’s blunt delivery.

Creative Commons via Flickr / Jeff Cubina (

In a 6-3 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the use of subsidies to buy health insurance on the federal health care marketplace,

The central question was whether residents of Florida and 33 other states should be allowed to use their subsidies on an exchange their state did not set up for itself.