CLEARWATER — As patients streamed into the Clearwater Free Clinic with a range of medical concerns Tuesday, clinic administrators were contemplating an altogether different problem: the sudden appearance of a $100,000 hole in their $950,000 operating budget.
Cutting staff is not an option, executive director Jeannie Shapiro said. Neither is cutting programs.
"We're going to have to find (more) funding," Shapiro said....
Advanced maternal age.
The three words make Laura Byrne cringe.
Byrne, of Tampa, will be almost 35 when she gives birth to her second child next month, making her an "older mom" in the eyes of her doctor. But she doesn't regret having waited to have a family, she said. It enabled her to pursue a fast-paced career in TV news, meet the right husband and achieve financial stability.
Besides, said Byrne, who is taking some time off from her career, "being an 'older mom' is the new norm."...
In a broad decision that left little room for future legal challenges, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 6-3 on Thursday to preserve the health insurance subsidies available under President Barack Obama's signature health law.
"The Affordable Care Act is here to stay," the president declared from the Rose Garden.
Prominent Republicans, including presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, vowed to continue fighting the law politically, foreshadowing its potential role in the 2016 election....
The share of Floridians without health insurance dropped nearly 6 percentage points to 18.8 percent after key parts of the Affordable Care Act took effect, according to federal data released Tuesday.
The slide from 2013 to 2014 mirrored a nationwide trend for people under 65.
Florida's newly insured included Lizzie Jimenez, a nursing student at St. Petersburg College who had gone without health insurance coverage since she was a child....
Most members of Tampa Bay's predominantly Republican congressional delegation would vote to maintain financial aid — at least temporarily — for the 6.4 million Americans at risk of losing their health insurance subsidies if the U.S. Supreme Court rules against the Affordable Care Act.
The ruling, expected this week or next, will determine whether people in states with federally run insurance exchanges are eligible for the subsidies, which help offset the cost of coverage....
TAMPA — The hospitals that serve Tampa Bay's poorest residents aren't likely to face crippling cuts in the upcoming fiscal year after all, according to an analysis released Wednesday.
Tampa General Hospital would lose only about $486,000 in taxpayer aid under the budget deal reached late Monday — a far cry from the $70 million in cuts hospital executives feared they might shoulder. All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine in St. Petersburg would actually see its revenues increase by about $716,000, the analysis found....
Gov. Rick Scott's Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding may seem like just another toothless task force.
But the nine-member panel, which meets in Tampa today, has touched off tensions between the Republican governor and Florida's public and nonprofit hospitals.
Scott wants the commission to investigate how taxpayer-supported hospitals spend their money, especially when it comes to lobbyists, political campaigns and advertising....
Some Florida seniors may no longer be able to use their Medicare benefits at hospitals run by Hospital Corporation of America.
The insurance company Humana sent a letter with that news to its Medicare and commercial customers in Florida last week because its contract with the for-profit HCA runs out July 10. The correspondence was accompanied by information on other health care providers in the network....
Nicole Peterson already struggles to provide for her three daughters with the $36,000 she makes managing a Kenneth City day care center.
If she were to lose her $150-a-month health insurance subsidy from the federal government?
"That's an electric or a water bill, or groceries and gas," Peterson said. "These aren't luxuries. These are things we need for survival."
So in between 11-hour days at the child care center and the demands of being a single mom, Peterson looks for updates on the U.S. Supreme Court case known as King vs. Burwell. The decision, expected this month, will determine whether she and 6.4 million other Americans continue receiving the subsidies associated with the Affordable Care Act....
It has been a head-spinning time in Tallahassee. Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 legislative session last month without finishing a state budget, then returned last week for a special session and finally reached some consensus over the weekend.
At issue: how to compensate hospitals that provide health care for the state's low-income residents.
For those who haven't followed every twist and turn, here's a look at the developments so far and where lawmakers stand on the budget:...
06/04/15 State Roundup
Expanding Medicaid could keep an additional 900 Floridians alive each year and lead to 2 million more physician visits, according to a report released Thursday by the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
The report was published hours before the state House of Representatives began discussing a controversial proposal to expand federally subsidized health insurance to hundreds of thousands of low-income Floridians. ...
05/24/15 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — James Myles is more comfortable mentoring troubled teenagers in St. Petersburg than glad-handing lawmakers in the Florida Capitol.
Yet that's where he found himself earlier this year.
Myles, an elder at Bethel Community Baptist Church and director of its truancy intervention program, was part of a loose-knit coalition of activists, faith-based leaders and service providers who traveled to Tallahassee to change the way Florida law treats juvenile offenders. They were pushing for an expansion of civil citations, an alternative to arrest....
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."...