Florida Roundup: U.S. And Cuba At The Summit

Apr 10, 2015

  On the Florida Roundup, we discuss the week's top news with area journalists. 

Summit of the Americas

The State Department recommended this week removing Cuba from the U.S. list of countries that sponsor terrorism - a move that could speed up normalizing relations with the island. Though no formal announcement has been made yet to remove Cuba from the list, Obama said a decision on it would be soon. The two leaders will be together at the Summit of the Americas for the first time.

Presidential Aspirations

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.

Gort Productions

The Florida Legislature is debating on whether to expand Medicaid. About two weeks ago, the Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill that would expand health care coverage to about 800,000 low-income Floridians using billions in federal dollars.

And the U.S. Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services would have to grant the state a waiver to get the federal funds.

The University of Miami School of Business hosted its yearly health care conference Monday. The main topic of discussion was “disruptive innovation,” which organizer and professor Steven Ullmann says means "to disrupt how we do health care provision in this country."

Ullmann says the health care system now is fragmented, and that makes it expensive.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard...

Flickr Creative Commons

The stars seem to be aligning for Medicaid expansion in the Florida Legislature this year.  After two years of blunt refusals to even consider it, some top Republicans, like Miami State Sen. Anitere Flores are saying the time has come.

"And what's interesting," Flores said after a Monday  interview with the Miami Herald editorial board, "is that you have the buy-in from the business community, from the private sector, from your nontraditional supporters of government funding."

Jamie Harden knows firsthand how Florida Legislative leaders feel about Medicaid expansion.  

Last year, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce asked him to join BayCare Health System President Steve Mason at a meeting with legislators and lobby to expand the state’s health insurance program for the poor.

Harden, a Tampa sign company president, said it didn’t go well.

Florida Legal Services

State health policy experts said Thursday prospects for expanding Medicaid in the Legislature this year remain dim because of unwillingness in the leadership and possibly fatal flaws in the two leading proposals. And those experts warn another refusal could come with a stunning economic cost for Florida.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

StockMonkeys / Wikimedia (

After nearly a decade-long fight, a federal judge ruled that Florida’s Medicaid program violates several federal laws when it comes to healthcare for children.

Judge Adalberto Jordan found the care provided through the insurance program for the poor failed to “promote quality of care or equal access” for kids.