health

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This September, Florida’s top economist Amy Baker stood in front of the state’s Joint Legislative Budget Commission in Tallahassee and presented an economic forecast for the next few years. General revenue is expected to go up — but so is the cost of health care.

“Medicaid is by far and away our largest driver in this year’s long-range financial outlook,” Baker told lawmakers.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department / lacounty.gov

  In a key step for supporters of legalizing medical marijuana, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would go on the November 2016 ballot.

Justices said the proposal, spearheaded by the group People United for Medical Marijuana, meets legal tests that include dealing with a single subject and having a clearly worded ballot title and summary. The Supreme Court does not consider the merits of proposed constitutional amendments but reviews them, in part, to make sure voters would not be misled.

The latest numbers from federal health officials show Florida is continuing to lead in enrollment on HealthCare.gov, with nearly 600,000 who have signed up so far.

Oral arguments over a petition to put medical marijuana in the constitution was canceled by the Florida Supreme Court Monday.

Needle Exchange Pilot Ready For Full Senate

Dec 7, 2015

Hoping to stem the spread of diseases such as HIV, a Senate committee Thursday approved a long-discussed proposal that would create a pilot needle-exchange program in Miami-Dade County.

Republicans are pushing toward Senate approval of legislation demolishing President Barack Obama's signature health care law and halting Planned Parenthood's federal money, setting up a veto fight the GOP knows it will lose but thinks will delight conservative voters.

The deadline to get health insurance under Obamacare for the start of 2016 is less than two weeks away, and Floridians are by far the largest group of consumers signing up for plans.

A Winter Garden nursery has been selected to grow medical marijuana for the Central Florida region.

Two Republican lawmakers are pitching a moderate expansion of the medical marijuana system they pushed through the Legislature almost two years ago.  The measure removes limits on potency, but only for terminally ill patients.

cooldesign / freedigitalphotos.net

A new analysis of Florida’s health care markets finds that as the state’s hospitals consolidate and expand, new business models are shifting the negotiating power.

  Xavier Francesco Medlin is only 11-days-old and detoxing from prescription drugs. His mother Hillary Medlin gazes down on him as she gives him a bottle, and baby Xavier starts to scream.

Most county health departments no longer offer services to pregnant women. But on Florida’s Space Coast, the opposite is true: The county health department offers 100 percent coverage for pregnant women.

The Florida Department of Health wants Sarasota County to privatize its prenatal care in the next three years. And that has its southern neighbors worried – after all, when Charlotte County privatized health care, residents started leaving the county for care.

There is a seven-county stretch in North Central Florida -- an area larger than Puerto Rico -- where every county health department has gotten out of prenatal care.

Since then, the rate of women getting in to see a doctor in the first trimester has dropped in all seven  counties.

The Florida Department of Health wants Sarasota County to privatize its prenatal care in the next three years. And that has its southern neighbors worried – after all, when Charlotte County privatized health care, residents started leaving the county for care.

Charlotte County Commission Chairman Bill Truex walks through a small, squat building that houses a lot of the government functions for the small town of Englewood. He points into a darkened room.

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