Gov. Rick Scott floated a few broad ideas for expanding health care coverage in a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell on Tuesday.
The letter, first reported by Politico, asked several questions intended to guide the governor's new Commission on Hospital and Healthcare Funding. Among them: Would the federal government be willing to give Florida a block grant to expand coverage? ...
05/11/15 State Roundup
A southwest Florida home builder who has been a steady contributor to Rick Scott's two gubernatorial campaigns will chair the governor's new Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding.
Carlos Beruff of Parrish has written checks totaling $121,000 to Scott and to the Republican Party of Florida.
Campaign finance records show Beruff donated $75,000 to Let's Get to Work, the governor's political committee and $3,000 to Scott's 2014 re-election campaign. Beruff is president of Medallion Homes, which gave $40,000 to the state GOP last year and an additional $3,000 to Scott's campaign. ...
How do state lawmakers feel about Republican Gov. Rick Scott's recent suggestion that hospitals pool their profits to cover charity care?
Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman René García, R-Hialeah, called the idea "worth exploring."...
Gov. Rick Scott on Monday named nine people to his newly created Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding.
None of the members are hospital executives. Only one is a medical doctor.
Missing from the list: Sens. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, and Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood.
Both volunteered to to serve.
Scott also announced that Florida Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Liz Dudek and Surgeon General John Armstrong will serve as co-executive directors of the commission. The group's first meeting will take place in Tallahassee on May 20. ...
05/08/15 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott is pitching a new idea to help Florida hospitals handle the potential loss of federal funds for treating indigent patients: profit sharing.
"This would be similar to how large-market baseball teams share revenues with small-market baseball teams," the Republican governor wrote in a letter sent Friday to hospital executives. "With the hospital industry's record-high profits, it does not make sense for the hospital industry to ask state taxpayers to back fill funding the Obama Administration has elected to terminate."...
Gov. Rick Scott is pitching a new idea to help Florida hospitals handle the potential loss of federal funds: profit sharing.
"This would be similar to how large market baseball teams share revenues with small market baseball teams," the Republican governor wrote in a Friday letter to hospital executives. "With the hospital industry's record-high profits, it does not make sense for the hospital industry to ask state taxpayers to back fill funding the Obama Administration has elected to terminate."...
05/05/15 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — Wednesday could be an awkward day for Gov. Rick Scott, who is scheduled to meet with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to talk about renewing a $2.2 billion hospital funding program for Florida.
After all, he's suing her.
Burwell is named as the defendant in Scott's suit alleging that the Obama Administration is trying to coerce Florida into expanding Medicaid by ending the so-called Low Income Pool (LIP). The agency has not commented directly on the suit, but says Medicaid expansion is and has always been a "state decision."...
05/04/15 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — Kansas and Texas are joining in Gov. Rick Scott's lawsuit against the Obama administration, Scott's office said Monday.
The legal challenge claims that federal health officials are trying to coerce Florida into expanding subsidized health care insurance by threatening to end the so-called Low Income Pool, a $2.2 billion federal-state program that reimburses hospitals for uncompensated care....
Kansas and Texas are joining in Gov. Rick Scott's lawsuit against the federal government over health care funding, Scott's office announced Monday....
The early end to this year's legislative session, without an approved budget, has put Florida school district leaders on edge.
Even in normal circumstances, school boards often struggle to craft spending plans largely dictated by state funding formulas. This year, they face the task without any hard numbers as a starting point.
"It's exceedingly difficult," Pinellas school superintendent Mike Grego said. "We're not a for-profit company with excess reserves" to rely upon....
05/02/15 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — Medicaid expansion in Florida has been a contentious issue since 2013 when the Obama administration, through the Affordable Care Act, encouraged states to allow more people with low incomes to qualify for the health insurance program.
The Florida Legislature, led by House Republicans, rejected it in 2013 and again in 2014.
But the issue came back to life in the months leading up to this year's 60-day regular session, dividing the Republican-dominated Legislature and creating a historic crisis that has kept lawmakers from passing a budget. A special session now awaits....
05/01/15 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — As lawmakers continued to quarrel over the abrupt end of the legislative session, state health care officials on Friday held the last of three public hearings on the hospital funding program at the center of the stalemate.
The public hearings are required before the federal government can approve or deny Florida's petition to extend the so-called Low Income Pool program. The LIP program uses $2.2 billion in federal and state money to reimburse hospitals such as Tampa General, which treat large numbers of uninsured and Medicaid patients....
TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott and a bitterly divided Legislature darted in four different directions Thursday as Scott called for budget talks, senators suggested a special session in June, the House did not favor either idea and Democrats sued the House.
As Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, proposed a three-week session starting June 1 to craft a state budget, Senate Democrats marched to the Florida Supreme Court with an emergency petition that asks justices to rule on whether the House violated the state Constitution by adjourning Tuesday afternoon. Senators say it's unconstitutional for one chamber to shut down for more than 72 hours without the other's consent....