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

During a recent trip to the pharmacy, Tampa resident Michael Ruppal was told his medication was no longer covered. He has another month until his annual health insurance contract is up for renewal or cancelation.

An overdose revival drug called Naloxone, commonly referred to as its brand name Narcan, can be bought over-the-counter in 14 states, but Florida is not one of them.

With the state’s overdose count increasing, the University of Miami’s IDEA Exchange Center, Florida’s first public clean syringe program, has recently been distributing the revival drug for free at its base location, in 1636 NW 7th avenue in Miami.

Last week, the Florida House formally apologized to the former wards of two now-closed reform schools for the abuse they say they suffered. Now, the Florida Senate is now doing the same.

Florida lawmakers want to issue special certificates to families who experience miscarriages. Supporters say the bill is meant to comfort grieving parents. But there are concerns the bill could affect access to abortions.

House lawmakers could be in for a long fight over medical marijuana when it hits the floor.  The bill’s sponsor is finding common ground with the Senate, but Democrats have filed 25 amendments.

'Stand Your Ground’ Change Still In Limbo

Apr 28, 2017

High noon is approaching in a standoff over part of a controversial bill dealing with "stand your ground" self-defense cases.

House Ready To Approve Trauma Care Changes

Apr 28, 2017

The Florida House could vote as soon as Friday to approve changes to criteria for opening new trauma centers, after years of legal battling about the approval of trauma facilities.

The drug overdose epidemic has killed thousands in Florida and Gov. Rick Scott is looking for answers.

The state will hold workshops in four counties next week to talk about the problem.

A proposal allowing Florida Power and Light to charge customers for exploratory natural gas drilling has cleared a key senate hurdle, despite numerous consumer concerns. The company calls the move a hedge against future fuel increases.

Here we go again.

A Senate panel approved a bill that authorizes an additional $100 million in grant funding to fight the mosquito-carrying Zika virus. The bill could now be voted on by the full Senate before summer begins, but only if Congress doesn’t repeat last year’s delay that saw the money tied up by political wrangling for months.

The money approved Tuesday would fund local mosquito-control efforts, centers that test for the virus and research into improving mosquito-control programs.

House Approves Bill Cracking Down On Sober Homes

Apr 27, 2017

A crackdown on sober home corruption took a big step forward on Wednesday after House members unanimously voted to pass a bill strengthening the state's role in prosecuting criminal and regulatory violations.

The moribund Republican health care bill received a jolt of life when the conservative House Freedom Caucus endorsed a revised version of the measure. But a leading GOP moderate criticized the reshaped legislation as a conservative exercise in "blame-shifting and face-saving" that wasn't winning new support from party centrists, leaving its fate unclear.

The man had just risen from the dead.

He’s in his mid-20’s. Sitting on a couch in a house in Delray Beach. Pale as a ghost, sweaty, wide-eyed, disoriented.  Like he just woke up from a nightmare.

Federal prosecutors argued Tuesday that a prominent Florida eye doctor tied to alleged political corruption ran a practice that was actually a well-organized scam that stole millions from Medicare.

Florida power companies may soon be able to charge customers to fund out-of-state fracking projects under a measure that is moving ahead in the Florida Legislature.

House Backs Away From Medicaid Premiums Proposal

Apr 26, 2017

The House on Tuesday backed away from a proposal that sought to require Medicaid beneficiaries to pay monthly premiums.

With supporters saying the proposal would provide more flexibility in health care, a key Senate committee Tuesday approved moving forward in Florida with what are known as "direct primary care" agreements.

A bill aimed at criminalizing the deadly drug fentanyl is heading to the Senate floor. The measure comes as the Legislature is struggling to respond to the state’s opioid crisis. But the plan has lawmakers questioning whether they should combat addiction with punishment or treatment.

Medical marijuana measures in the House and Senate are heading to the floor.  Lawmakers are making some last minute adjustments ahead of negotiations.

Rep. Jay Trumbull, R-Panama City, has revamped his legislation on the state’s trauma centers. It’s not clear whether the House bill will make it through the Senate because the Senate’s legislation on trauma centers is already dead.

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