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Lynn Hatter

Lynn Hatter is a  Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative.  When she’s not working, Lynn spends her time watching sci-fi and action movies, writing her own books, going on long walks through the woods, traveling and exploring antique stores. Follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter: @HatterLynn.

Phone: (850) 487-3086

Florida Senate staff are using a random computer system to decide which Senators will have to run for re-election next year or get more time to stay in office.

Florida lawmakers are bracing for budget holes despite figures showing the state could end up with another year of surplus.  The cost driver: healthcare.

Healthcare concerns, more specifically cost problems—are starting to take over conversations at the capital.

A Conservative Florida group wants Governor Rick Scott to de-fund the state’s planned parenthood clinics. Florida Family Policy Council President John Stemberger says Governor Rick Scott isn’t a true conservative if he allows state dollars to continue flowing to planned parenthood.

Florida’s Board of Education wants to set a high bar for student performance in the state’s new standardized test, and it's calling for  higher cut scores beyond what a review committee has recommended.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says Florida’s lawsuit climate is among the worst in the nation—for businesses. The business lobby association is pushing state legislators to crack down on trial lawyers—including one big name in the industry.

Florida Blue is introducing hybrid plans into Florida’s Affordable Care Act marketplace. They  could give consumers both more and fewer choices in providers.

Florida’s Medicaid costs will soon take up about half of the state’s new revenue. And enrollment in the program continues to grow. The increasing costs of the program has the state’s chief economist putting part of the blame on prescription drugs.

Florida’s health insurance market for next year is beginning to take shape, and there will be cost increases. But  that’s not what’s raising eyebrows. In Florida, managed care health plans will dominate the market place, and the emergence of a new system  has some wondering, what is an EPO?

A revamped health care agenda is starting to take shape ahead of next year’s lawmaking session. Last regular session The Florida House and Senate clashed over whether to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

  Update: The former Virginia journalist who killed two of his former co-workers, is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  WDBJ7-TV general manager Jeffrey Marks described Bryce Williams as a disgruntled employee who displayed "anger issues".

Florida’s state-based insurance exchange is gearing up for open enrollment later this year. Florida Health Choices is reaching out to professionals licensed by the state, as well as realtors, to grow its numbers.

A starting point for new Florida Congressional districts has been revealed and it’s setting off a firestorm among incumbents, and future candidates.  As state lawmakers prepare to draw the districts for a third time, the fourth lawsuit over the process has been launched.

Florida’s top healthcare official says her agency was right to cite state planned parenthood clinics for violating abortion rules. But Planned Parenthood Florida maintains it did nothing wrong.

Florida officials are asking the Seminole Tribe when it plans to end card games at its casinos and the tribe has responded—with a request for mediation.

A non-partisan organization wants to change the way Florida’s elected officials are chosen. They’re tired of partisanship and say the best way to address it is to make candidates appeal to a broader electorate. That means tapping in to the state’s nearly 2.9 million No Party Affiliated voters, who are largely locked out of state primaries.

Update 7/24/15:   More information on Florida rates under the Affordable Care Act. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation hasn't released information on more than 12 other health insurers. According to its website, "displayed rate changes may not fully reflect increases and decreases due to claims of trade secret." There are several companies that have posted requests but they are blocked. OIR handles all proposals, but those over 10 percent are posted to CMS. The state has blocked the requests from insurers who have requested rate increases under 10 percent of which several are pending.

Results for the 10th grade English-Language Arts Florida Standards Assessment, are in. And students performed largely the same as they did under the old FCAT exam. As the FSA undergoes an evaluation to see if it’s a valid measure of student ability, the state is using it to determine students graduate from high school.

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide whether health insurance subsidies for millions of Americans in 34 states, are legal. And if the high court says they aren’t, 1.3 million Floridians could lose their health insurance, or end up paying far more for it.

In-fighting in the Florida legislature is getting increasingly personal. But some observers are saying Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, may have crossed a line.

The stalemate between Florida’s Republican leaders is getting worse. A day after the House abruptly adjourned, the Senate says it may sue unless Representatives come back. Still, not everyone believes the abrupt end of the session is a bad thing.

Jury Convicts Final Three Defendants In FAMU Hazing Case

Apr 26, 2015

An Orlando jury has handed down hazing and manslaughter convictions to the final three defendants in the death of a Florida A&M University marching band drum major. The verdict brings a three and a half year old legal saga to a close.

Governor Rick Scott says if the legislature can’t get an answer on healthcare funding, he’ll call a special session to put a continuation budget in place. That would carry the state through the upcoming fiscal year, which begins the first of July. But in the meantime, some hospitals could be forced to shut down as the legislative standoff on healthcare funding continues.

Florida House leaders are being criticized for a closed-door meeting of Republican lawmakers to talk about healthcare issues.

Update: 5:18 p.m.:   Florida's Agency for Healthcare Administration says the last time it spoke with officials at the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicare services was last Thursday. AHCA says the only thing mentioned was that CMS had not stopped negotiating with the state over the renewal of federal funding to hospitals for uncompensated care.

 Update 4/2/2015: Senate President Andy Gardiner says increased budget uncertainty following the federal government's decision to delay talks about healthcare funding, may eliminate state employee pay raises from future budget consideration.

The Florida Senate has approved several bills aimed at improving education and workforce outcomes for Floridians with disabilities.

The issue is Senate President Andy Gardiner’s top priority—his son has Down syndrome. As an emotional Gardiner presided over the Senate session former Senate President Don Gaetz praised the legislation.

“I can’t remember a time that I’ve been prouder to be on the Senate floor than to see the time, effort energy concern and contributions of substance that have gone into the bills that we’ve taken up now," Gaetz said.  

A plan to expand the powers of advanced registered nurses hasn’t yet caught on in the legislature, but eased out of a House Health panel Wednesday. The fate of bill remains cloudy, but its sponsor says even if it fails this year—the issue isn’t going away.

A battle between the pharmaceutical industry, patients and doctors has made its way to the Florida legislature. At issue: whether patients should have to deal with alternative medications and how much say prescription drug plans have on treatment.


Continued uncertainty over federal health funding is causing budget pains in the Florida legislature. The House and Senate have a $4 billion  gap in their proposed spending plans for the upcoming fiscal year—and that’s largely due to disagreements over the biggest part of state spending: Medicaid.

The first floor of the Capital is swarming with people dashing back and forth—some pushing frantically at the slow-running elevators, others giving up—and dashing up the stairwells instead. Off to the side, is 23-year-old Broward resident Matt Ross.

A proposal allowing guns to be carried on public college and university campuses is gaining steam in the legislature. While the bill applies to all public higher educations in Florida—One school, Florida State University—is dominating the conversation.

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