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

Residents in Lee and Broward Counties took Gov. Rick Scott to the Florida Supreme Court this week. They’re trying to overturn Scott’s vetoes of state money owed to them after agriculture officials destroyed their healthy citrus trees. The homeowners also took the state’s agriculture commissioner to lower courts.

Helena Pivarnik believes she’s alive today only because of the health care coverage she got through the Affordable Care Act. She’s a cancer survivor. Without coverage, she couldn’t afford chemotherapy. 

It’s one of the reasons she’s one of approximately 50 South Florida residents who were protesting outside U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s office in Doral under the blazing sun on Wednesday. Rubio is one of 50 votes needed to pass the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act, the GOP’s answer to 'repeal and replace’ the Affordable Care Act.

 

A Pulse first responder will receive his final paycheck next Thursday after post-traumatic stress disorder has left him out of work for about a year.  

Gerry Realin spent four hours taking care of the dead at Pulse.

His wife Jessica says he went on disability and then was paid through a city crime prevention fund, but now the family has been told his sick and vacation time are gone.

“I’ve been wondering, What is really Orlando United? Is it the victims? Is it the survivors? Is it our community? What does that really mean?”

 

Felicia Duncan’s 7-year-old daughter Emma has been living with epilepsy for years. She been seizure-free since January thanks to medical marijuana. But it costs her Mom $391 a month.

State Democrats Go On Offensive Over Health Care Fight

Jun 28, 2017

Even as the U.S. Senate delayed a planned procedural vote Tuesday on a controversial Republican plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, the proposal was roiling Florida's political landscape ahead of the 2018 elections.

The bacteria that cause Legionnaire's disease have been found at a health club in Florida, and a second club is being tested for the bacteria.

A No Casinos organizer is expressing his disappointment after Governor Rick Scott rejected warning labels for Florida Lottery tickets.

Updated at 1:35 p.m. ET

Americans broadly disapprove of the Senate GOP's health care bill, and they're unhappy with how Republicans are handling the efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Updated 3:30 p.m. ET

With their health care bill facing a perilous path, Senate Republican leaders have decided to push off a vote until after Congress returns from next week's July Fourth recess, GOP aides confirm to NPR's Susan Davis.

Budget Office: Senate Health Bill Adds 22 Million Uninsured

Jun 27, 2017

The Senate Republican health care bill would leave 22 million more Americans uninsured in 2026 than under President Barack Obama's health care law, the Congressional Budget Office estimated Monday, complicating GOP leaders' hopes of pushing the plan through the chamber this week.

With outside temperatures soaring, the heat inside parked vehicles can go higher still. Florida is now ramping up its efforts to make sure little kids don't wind up trapped inside those vehicles.

Florida has launched an initiative to find more foster parents for children with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

 

Changes to Medicaid in Republican proposals for health care reform could cause insurance rates to go up for everyone, according to Rep. Kathy Castor.

Talk to people with experience in Colorado and California and they’ll say there’s lots of money to be made in Florida expanding medical marijuana industry, however, 80% of the money will go to people who never have to touch a plant. 

Accidental opioid overdoses by first responders are an alarming phenomenon.

 

Now the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is warning police and firefighters to take special precautions in case they encounter synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The drugs can cause overdose just from contact with skin.

Having long decried the failings of the Affordable Care Act, Senate Republicans are purporting to fix one of its loopholes with their newly unveiled health plan. The so-called coverage gap left more than 2.5 million people living below the poverty line of $11,880 for an individual ineligible for Medicaid or financial assistance to buy insurance — even as higher earners got subsidy checks to buy theirs.

Scott Going To Washington Amid Health Debate

Jun 26, 2017

After U.S. Senate leaders released a proposal Thursday to roll back the Affordable Care Act, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he will go to Washington next week to weigh in on the issues.

Scott Signs Medical Marijuana Plan

Jun 26, 2017

More than seven months after Floridians overwhelmingly backed the broad legalization of medical marijuana, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a bill aimed at carrying out the voters' wishes.

Six companies filed to sell health insurance in Florida next year on the Obamacare exchanges with an average rate increase of 17.8 percent, state officials said.

However, if the state approves the rate increase, it would likely be offset by an increase in federal subsidies. That means consumers wouldn’t have to pay much more for their premiums.

Medical Records Dispute Heads To Supreme Court

Jun 23, 2017

A long-running battle about how much patients should be charged for copies of medical records has gone to the Florida Supreme Court.

Pages