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Florida CHAIN

For 18 years, Florida’s voice for expanding health-care coverage has been a group known as Florida CHAIN.

But now two of CHAIN’s former employees are launching their own non-profit, called Florida Consumer Health Alliance. That has set up a power struggle among former colleagues.

Florida’s most vocal advocacy group on health issues will lay off all five of its employees next month as an indirect result of the Republican sweep in the Nov. 8 election.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

It's a busy Monday morning at the St. Petersburg Free Clinic, and Philip Ertel is here for a check-up. The 60-year-old needs refills for his diabetes and cholesterol medications.

Dr. Trudy Grossman pulls out a stethoscope and checks his lungs. He takes deep breaths in and out.

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.

Health policy and political consultants say that for the Affordable Care Act to succeed, politically and substantively, organizing efforts must focus on three states with large numbers of uninsured: Florida, Texas and California. Unfortunately for Democrats and the law’s supporters, as Politico reports, two of those states are run by Republicans who are trying to hamper the enrollment effort.

U.S. Navy

In a long-awaited move, federal health officials on Friday granted Florida's request to expand its five-county pilot Medicaid managed-care project statewide.  Mindful of how some Florida Medicaid HMOs have behaved in the past, the deal includes what an independent analyst called "unprecedented consumer protections."