Health News Florida

Health News Florida
10:10 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Hemp Farming Gets Thumbs Up From Florida Senate Committee

Florida lawmakers are considering a bill to let farmers grow hemp crops like these.

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 2:45 pm

A product made from cannabis could become one of Florida’s top crops: A bill in Tallahassee would allow Florida farmers to grow hemp.

Robert Clayton finished construction last year on a house made of hemp in Tarpon Springs. It’s thought to be the first of its kind in Florida. He testified at a Senate hearing about his research for the Hemp Industries Association.

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Health News Florida
9:02 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Lawmakers Eye Bill To Ban Contact Lens Price Floors

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 6:24 pm

Many contact lens manufacturers are imposing what’s called a Unilateral Pricing Policy on contact retailers.  It lets manufacturers set a minimum price for their product. If retailers drop below that price, they risk losing the ability to continue selling that company’s contacts. Sen. Tom Lee (R-Brandon) says there are other products that fall under similar pricing agreements, but none quite like contacts.

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Health News Florida
6:35 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Bill Tries To Lower Insurer Influence Over Patient Medications

A fight over patient access to name-brand drugs has made its way to the legislature.

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 5:39 pm

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.


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Health News Florida
12:02 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

HealthCare.gov Sends Corrected Tax Forms

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 12:02 pm

The Obama administration said Friday it's making progress trying to correct a tax-form error that affected 820,000 customers of HealthCare.gov.

Administration officials said 740,000 corrected forms have gone out to consumers in the federal insurance marketplace, and another 80,000 will be mailed next week.

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Health News Florida
10:10 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

House, Senate Healthcare Dispute Shows Up In $4B Gap In Spending Plans

Matt Ross, 23, is one of more than 800,000 Floridians stuck in what's called the Medicaid coverage gap. The Medicaid issue is diving the Florida legislature as it tries to craft a budget.

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 5:33 pm

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.

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Health News Florida
3:50 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Lawmakers Mull Changes to State Worker Health Insurance

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 7:51 am

A proposal that would redesign the state group health insurance plan passed the Florida House Committee on Health and Human Services Thursday morning. 

The proposed redesign could affect the 360,000 current employees, retirees and their dependents that are covered by the program.

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Health News Florida
8:55 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Lawmaker Tells Story of Using Gun to Prevent Rape

Credit Michael Schumacher / Associated Press

When State Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda went to college, she brought a gun with her. She didn't think she'd need it.

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Health News Florida
8:51 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Running Beyond Marathons: Obstacle Races In South Florida

The finish line, like the starting line, will greet runners with the Battle Frog.

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 7:10 am

Millions of runners are searching for a new challenge. They want something with more danger and fun than a traditional marathon event.

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Health News Florida
10:21 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

You're Invited! Join WUSF For a Florida Matters Taping

Joshua Rivera has been cancer-free for more than five years. Here, he displays a photo with a Moffitt Cancer Center doctor after they recently completed a triathlon.

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 10:22 am

In the coming weeks, public television stations across Florida will air a new documentary by Ken Burns. "Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies" aims to tell the complete story of cancer, from the first accounts from ancient Egypt to modern research facilities, and the stories of patients.

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Health News Florida
4:08 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

'Right to Try' Bill Would Bypass FDA Approval

Republican Senator Jeff Brandes proposed a bill that would allow terminal patients access to medicine and treatments not yet approved by the FDA.

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 8:50 am

The  Florida Senate Health Policy Committee passed a bill Tuesday that will establish the "Florida Right to Try Act."

SB 1052 will allow patients diagnosed with a terminal illness to explore products and treatments that are currently under clinical trial, but not yet FDA approved. It also would protect a physician recommending certain treatment options.

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Health News Florida
10:31 am
Sun March 15, 2015

Tax-Time Enrollment Extension Under Way

Extra enrollment time is under way on HealthCare.gov in Florida and the 36 other states that use the federal health insurance marketplace.
HealthCare.gov

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 11:46 am

Several million Americans hit with new federal fines for going without health insurance are getting a second chance to sign up, and that could ease the sting of rising penalties for being uninsured.

But as the enrollment window reopened on Sunday in Florida and the 36 other states that use the federal health insurance marketplace at HealthCare.gov, it’s unclear how many know about the time-limited opportunity, let alone will take advantage of it.

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Health News Florida
7:52 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Telemedicine Gets A Bi-Partisan Boost In First House Hearing

Rep. Travis Cummings (R-Orange Park) and Rep. Mia Jones (D-Jacksonville) demonstrate bi-partisan support of a telemedicine bill.

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 5:42 pm

If you can’t get to the doctor, it could become easier for the doctor to come to you. That’s the point of telemedicine, which connects physicians to patients through video conferencing.  A compromise worked out with various hospitals, and physician organizations has cleared the way for a telemedicine proposal to get through the legislature.

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Health News Florida
9:29 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

House Bill Requiring a Wait Period Before Abortions Clears First Panel

Rep. Jennifer Sullivan (R-Mount Dora)

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 5:27 pm

A woman would have to wait 24-hours before having an abortion under a proposal approved by a House Health panel Thursday. Such bills  have become a fixture in the Florida legislature.

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Health News Florida
12:40 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

If FL Medicaid Expansion Plan Passes, Still Faces Negotiations With Feds

Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 12:44 pm

A plan to provide health care coverage to 800,000 Floridians faces an uphill battle after unanimous approval by the Senate Health Policy Committee.

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Health News Florida
8:58 am
Thu March 12, 2015

House Panel OKs Guns in Schools

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 8:57 am

 A measure that would allow school employees and volunteers to carry guns on campus was approved by a House panel Wednesday as lawmakers continue to discuss the meeting place between firearms and education.

The legislation (HB 19) received the backing of the House K-12 Subcommittee on a bipartisan, 10-1 vote. But one lawmaker who supported the bill voiced concern about the measure.

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