The Buzz on Florida politics

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Latest Buzz on Florida politics

U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor's Friday night ruling to throw out the Affordable Care Act shocked many judiciary and health-law experts who never expected such a far-reaching decision.

Although the law will remain in effect while it's appealed by a number of states with Democratic attorneys general (California, New York) and probably end up before the U.S. Supreme Court, O'Connor's ruling eliminates President Barack Obama's signature 2010 health care law.

Gone is the individual mandate to buy insurance. Gone are consumer protections that prohibit charging more or refusing to cover patients with preexisting conditions. Millions now face having no health insurance, just like before the law.

Keep reading   4 min. read  

Incoming Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has named a state representative who is a member of the Army Reserves to be his veterans' affairs director.

Republican state Rep. Danny Burgess became the third sitting legislator DeSantis has named to his administration.

The 32-year-old represents a district north of Tampa Bay, in eastern Pasco County, recently winning a third term. He will have to resign.

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Florida may have a plan to address the increasing number of children who lack health insurance, but it remains to be seen whether the proposal will get funded.

The state Agency for Health Care Administration wants $16.3 million to help insure an additional 22,000 children in the Florida Healthy Kids program and lower the costs for some children already in the program, according to a legislative budget request.

Florida officials hope to use the money to take advantage of a federal change that allows the state to return the program to its pre-Obamacare days. Though mostly administrative in nature, Florida Healthy Kids Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Matthews said the moves would lower premiums to $170 a month for so-called full-pay children, which could attract more children to the program.

Keep reading   3 min. read  

After announcing the chairmen of top committees last month, House Speaker Jose Oliva late Friday released a list of subcommittee leaders and committee assignments as lawmakers prepare for the 2019 legislative session.

Also Friday, Oliva's list said Rep. Bryan Avila, R-Miami Springs, will chair the Ways & Means Committee. The Ways & Means job became open this week when Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis chose Rep. Halsey Beshears, R-Monticello, to become secretary of the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Keep reading   30-second read  

Helen Aguirre Ferré, who left the Trump administration in August to become director of public affairs for the National Endowment for the Arts, is headed to Tallahassee as Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis fills out his executive office.

The DeSantis transition team Friday announced Ferré's appointment as director of communications, along with former Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Stephanie Kopelousos taking over as director of legislative affairs and Roger "Beau" Beaubien moving from the Attorney General's Office to become director of Cabinet affairs.

Ferré served as White House director of media affairs from January 2017 to August 2018. She also was an adviser to former Gov. Jeb Bush's presidential campaign in 2016.

Keep reading   One minute read  

TALLAHASSEE — One loaned him a private plane on the campaign trail. Another wrote a $500,000 check early in the campaign. Now, at least 22 of governor-elect Ron DeSantis' biggest campaign donors are playing an official role in shaping his policies.

They all have been named to DeSantis' transition's advisory committees, which meet regularly to discuss issues and provide formal recommendations to the incoming governor, who launched his campaign with the pledge that he would "drain the swamp in Tallahassee."

These donors have given a total of about $2.1 million to DeSantis' various political committees during his entire political career, with half giving $10,000 or more. This does not include DeSantis' final advisory committee, which had not yet been announced as of Friday afternoon.

Keep reading   6 min. read  

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