Medicaid

Living Wage
4:25 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Report: Florida's Minimum Wage Less Than Half What It Should Be

A new report says Florida's minimum wage is significantly less than what it takes to live in the Sunshine State.
Credit Flickr user Tax Credits per Creative Commons license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Just in time for Labor Day, a new report finds that Florida’s minimum wage is less than half what workers need to cover basic expenses.

The report, titled “Families Out Of Balance,” comes from the Alliance for a Just Society, a Seattle-based advocacy group. It finds that a single adult in Florida should make about $16.98 an hour to pay for necessities like rent and utilities. That’s more than double the state’s minimum wage of $7.93.

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Governor's Race
5:53 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Crist Would Push Lawmakers To Expand Health Care Coverage

Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist told the Miami Herald editorial board that he wants a special session to try and convince lawmakers to expand state-run health care coverage for low-income residents.
Credit John O'Connor / WLRN

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist says if he’s elected, he wants a special session to expand a state-run health insurance program for the poor and disabled.

Crist says Florida could cover an additional one million people by expanding Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act.

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Health Care
3:22 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Florida First In Medicaid Coverage For Mentally Ill

Florida is rolling out new Medicaid plans specifically for people with severe mental health diagnoses.
Credit Creative Commons of Charles Bell's Anatomy of the Brain, c. 1802 / Flickr user Shaheen Lakhan

  This month, Florida became the first state to offer a Medicaid plan dedicated to people who are diagnosed with severe mental health disorders.

It’s part of a larger move by the state’s Medicaid officials to move coverage towards a managed care system. It means one organization takes care of and coordinates all of a person’s health care needs: no more separate dental, vision, and internal medicine plans.

Mental health issues are almost twice as prevalent among Medicaid recipients than in the general population.

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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

Who's going to be more successful at selling health insurance to young men this fall: NBA MVP LeBron James, NFL rookie of the year Robert Griffin III, or Mom? If officials at the Department of Health and Human Services get their way, all may be drafted.

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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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