Before the Florida Legislature fought to a budget standstill over a hole in health care funding, Gov. Rick Scott said lawmakers should stop worrying about giving state money to profitable hospitals.
His warning came as legislators faced losing the Low Income Pool, or LIP, a joint state-federal program that helps some hospitals and clinics pay for treating uninsured and underinsured patients. Washington last year announced the fund was going to expire in 2015, taking at least $1.3 billion in matching federal funds out of the state budget....
Sen. Marco Rubio's claims about defense spending warranted a review by the Truth-O-Meter, after the presidential hopeful said the U.S. is not upgrading its weapons systems.
"We are the only nation that is not building the aircraft, the long-range bombers, the additional aircraft carriers, the nuclear submarines that we need for our national defense," Rubio said at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Summit on April 25, 2015....
Even before the Florida House adjourned early, Speaker Steve Crisafulli laid blame for the session's budget impasse clearly on Medicaid expansion.
In an op-ed printed in the Tampa Bay Times, Crisafulli wrote that the Senate had "partnered with the Obama administration" to demand the expansion. But the House believed the move would drag people into a costly system that didn't work.
"Under federal law, other low-income Floridians have access to health care subsidies to buy private insurance for less than the average cost of a wireless phone bill," said Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island. "In fact, if we choose Obamacare expansion, 600,000 will lose eligibility for their subsidies, of which 257,000 would be forced into Medicaid. "...
A feud over Medicaid expansion that stretches from Tallahassee to the White House means the Florida Legislature may not pass a budget by the time the session ends on May 1. PolitiFact Florida has been fact-checking the fight over whether more poor Floridians will be able to qualify for heavily subsidized health insurance.
The federal government is offering billions if Florida expands Medicaid, paying 100 percent of the expansion at first and gradually downshifting to 90 percent in later years. The program currently eats up a sizable portion of the state budget....
Constituents demanding a solution to the Legislature’s budget impasse over Medicaid expansion have been emailing Rep. Richard Corcoran, who has been telling voters that the federal program is dangerous for its patients.
Several PolitiFact Florida readers have sent in an email response from the Land O’ Lakes Republican, who is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and the Joint Legislative Budget Commission. In his reply, Corcoran decries the already high enrollment and expense of Medicaid, the joint state and federal health care program for the very poor, as a reason to not accept federal expansion money under the Affordable Care Act....
Sen. Marco Rubio confirmed his 2016 presidential campaign Monday, but an apparent musical analogy in his announcement speech was a bit off-key. During a speech in which he implied his opponents were too old, Rubio accused the competition of wanting to recycle ideas "stuck in the 20th century."
"They're busy looking backwards, so they do not se"They're busy looking backwards, so they do not see how jobs and prosperity today depend on our ability to compete in a global economy," Rubio said. "And so our leaders put us at a disadvantage by taxing and borrowing and regulating like it's 1999."...
A report on MSNBC earlier this week said Sen. Marco Rubio contradicted himself by saying he had never backed a constitutional amendment forbidding gay marriage on the national level.
In a Tuesday interview with Kasie Hunt, Rubio said "I’ve never supported a federal constitutional amendment on marriage." Rubio on Monday announced a run for the White House.
The network pointed out a Christian Coalition voter guide from 2010 that said he did favor such a change. It seems to be the only place that mentions that position, however....
Sen. Marco Rubio announced his campaign for the Oval Office on Monday, saying he's looking forward while his opponents are living in the past.
To make his point, he made a somewhat hoary reference to a famous Prince song:
"They’re busy looking backwards, so they do not see how jobs and prosperity today depend on our ability to compete in a global economy," Rubio said. "And so our leaders put us at a disadvantage by taxing and borrowing and regulating like it’s 1999."...
04/12/15 State Roundup
A bank suddenly closing checking accounts for a Brooksville pawnshop that sells guns has opened up Internet speculation that the Obama administration influenced the decision.
Under the headline "Suntrust Bank Cancels Account Because Company Sells Guns," the website Floridanewsflash.com recounts how American Gun & Pawn owner Steve Champion received a letter from SunTrust dated March 20, telling him his deposit accounts, safe deposit boxes and credit cards would be closed. (A reader first alerted us to the story after seeing it on Facebook.)...
With U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio expected to announce his 2016 presidential campaign on Monday, PolitiFact decided it was time to review his track record on our Truth-O-Meter.
Out of Rubio’s 85 ratings, he has received 16 percent True, 25 percent Mostly True, 20 percent Half True, 25 percent Mostly False; 12 percent False, and 2 percent Pants on Fire.
SeaWorld, solar energy and guns versus gators were the big items for PolitiFact Florida readers in March.
Topping our monthly traffic report were fact checks about Americans for Prosperity claiming Georgia's solar policies were disastrous. People also were interested to see if killer whales lived a long time in captivity....
There's been a lot of Internet chatter blaming the Obama administration for targeting gun dealers after SunTrust notified a Hernando County pawn shop the bank would be closing the store's checking accounts.
The bank told Brooksville's American Gun & Pawn their decision to close the shop's accounts was irreversible. Owner Steve Champion posted the bank's letter on Facebook, touching off accusations it was because the shop sold firearms. Gun rights advocates blamed a Department of Justice program called Operation Choke Point for going after legal businesses at the behest of the White House....
04/05/15 State Roundup
More Florida school districts might soon have millions of reasons to start requiring students to wear uniforms, thanks to a bill that just passed the House.
Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach, sponsored a bill that would give districts $10 per child to adopt standard attire policies in kindergarten through eighth grade. The state would set aside $10 million in all from the general revenue fund. Similar provisions have been amended to a school bill in the Senate, though without the cash incentive....
We're at the halfway point in the Florida Legislature's 60-day session, which ends May 1. Legislative committees have discussed a long list of issues including whether to allow guns on college campuses, how to change school tests and whether to allow online voter registration and expand Medicaid. PolitiFact Florida has fact-checked claims about all those issues, including a claim about attacks by alligators vs. gun permit holders. See their midway report to catch up on fact-checks you might have missed....
Even with combat in Iraq and Afghanistan officially over, potential presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio is calling for a reversal of a shrinking defense budget. "Inflation-adjusted defense spending has declined 21 percent since 2010, and even if we discount the drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan, it has still declined by a dangerous 12 percent," Rubio said. PolitiFact Florida looked at those numbers and found that Rubio was largely accurate, though it's important to understand the full context of trends in defense spending. See the full report....