Health News Florida

Since 2006, Health News Florida has provided in-depth journalism on health policy issues in our state.

Health News Florida is a project of WUSF Public Media in Tampa and is heard on public radio stations throughout Florida. It also is available online at http://health.wusf.usf.edu

House lawmakers are wrangling over whether to allow optometrists to perform procedures traditionally reserved for ophthalmologists.  The long-standing fight is tied up in questions of access and professional scope. 

In 2011, the Florida legislature passed a measure to convert Medicaid insurance into a managed care system. But Republican lawmakers now want to take the program away from “big businesses” and change it into a block grant system. But Medicaid providers said if that happens low income families will lose access to health care.

Mass shootings in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale have brought conversations about gun rights and restrictions front and center this legislative session. 

A Florida Senate Panel has voted down a plan to allow recovery care centers in Florida. The facilities provide nursing care for people recently discharged from hospitals or those in need of post-operative care.

A former chief judge says the number of future death penalty recommendations will likely drop now that a unanimous jury recommendation is required.

Lawmakers Support Medical Marijuana Research

Mar 15, 2017

A House budget panel Tuesday approved a proposal that would send $2.462 million to the University of Florida for research about issues such as the effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating patients.

Gov. Scott Remains Silent On GOP Health Plan

Mar 15, 2017

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who urged President Donald Trump to move quickly on a health care plan, is sidestepping questions on a Republican health care bill that has set off an intense reaction in Washington.

Workers’ Comp Bill Passes First Test In House

Mar 15, 2017

After a fierce debate about attorney fees, a House panel Tuesday moved forward with a proposal that would make key changes in the workers' compensation insurance system.

When the Congressional Budget Office on Monday announced that the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would lead to 24 million people losing insurance coverage, Tom Price cried foul.

Price, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said the estimate that 14 million people would lose insurance in a year, and another 10 million over the following nine years, was "virtually impossible."

After battling for years over how to make healthcare more accessible and affordable, Florida lawmakers landed on a compromise. Instead of expanding Medicaid to cover more people, they decided during last year’s session to attack the cost of care directly, creating a database to make procedure pricing transparent.

UPDATED 3/24/2017 4:45 PM

Republican leaders in the U.S. House have pulled the American Health Care Act from the floor after failing to round up enough votes within their own caucus.

Had the bill passed, Americans would have no longer been required to buy health insurance, and it would have eliminated the current subsidies that are used to bring down the cost of premiums.

NPR and dozens of member stations collected public statements from members of Congress to help the public understand where lawmakers stood on this issue.

Carfentanil is an opiate 10,000 times more powerful than morphine. And since last summer, it's been killing addicts and confounding first responders across the country.

Saint Petersburg Rep. Kathleen Peters has filed legislation to increase mental health treatment. It adds certain mental health and substance abuse services to the state’s Medicaid program through a safety network.

Miami-Dade County officials are monitoring four zones in the Miami area where the Zika virus spread through local mosquitoes.

When Colorado expanded Medicaid coverage under former President Barack Obama's health care law, the largest provider in the Denver region hired more than 250 employees and built a $27 million primary care clinic and two new school-based clinics.

Moving closer to getting Florida's death penalty back on track, the Florida Senate on Thursday approved a measure that would require unanimous jury recommendations for death sentences to be imposed.

Florida families are calling on the state to fully fund mental health services. Social service agencies say the lack of funding for mental health care and substance abuse means more people incarcerated or living on the streets.

More than 1,000 nurses from around the country met this week in Tampa at the American Nurses Association annual conference, and part of it was spend discussing the potential impact of repealing Obamacare.

Dozens of gun measures are likely dead this year in the legislature. A key Republican Senator says she won’t support measures like campus carry or guns in school zones.

The Senate is moving ahead with a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing, despite industry threats of a blizzard of lawsuits. But as Jim Ash reports, the House remains a big question mark.

Pages