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Tuesday's Daily Pulse

Hospitals could lose millions in federal funds

Hospitals nationwide could lose half a billion dollars in federal funding for uninsured patients next year under the national health overhaul — a loss that will hit especially hard in states that decided against expanding Medicaid coverage. Cuts could jump to $4 billion in 2020, according to estimates released Monday by federal health officials. More from the AP and the Miami Herald.

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» House members say yes to cheap health insurance — for themselves

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Christine Weingart - left
Christine Weingart (left), an associate at Dean Mead in Orlando, consults with small-business owner Leigh Elliott. » Full story
[Photo: Eric Cucciaioni]

Five years ago, when Leigh Elliott was getting ready to launch a small business, she looked for an attorney to review her plans. It was beyond her budget to hire an attorney to work for days drawing up contracts and creating the various legal documents she needed but she found someone who was willing to “issue-spot,” meaning she would set aside an hour to meet with her, discuss the business, review the paperwork and look for legal issues that had the potential to become problems. Full story.

Sequester forces 4-week cut in jobless benefits

Florida will soon slash four weeks of unemployment benefits to laid-off workers nearing the end of their eligibility. The reduction is happening because of the so-called sequestration, the automatic federal budget cuts that began in March. Up to 100,000 laid-off workers could be have their benefits cut off. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Immigration reform may help real estate sales

A little-known component of a U.S. immigration reform bill snaking its way through Congress could bolster foreign retirees' ability to purchase Florida homes. Under the proposed federal reform, the stays in the U.S. of Canadian visitors and real estate buyers could be extended. It also would grant temporary visas to foreigners from any country who pay cash for luxury real estate in the U.S. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Analysts say gas prices to keep falling through June

The average U.S. gas price is now $3.58 a gallon, down from nearly $3.75 a year ago. Analysts speculate that this is the result of a rise in crude oil production and a decrease in consumer demand. Energy Department analysts have said they expect the average price to remain low at $3.53 per gallon this summer. More from the Daily Ticker and check the current gas prices around Florida.


› Hotels, attractions kick off summer promotions
As summer nears and vacation planning gears up, South Florida hotels and attractions are rolling out promotions to woo locals and other Floridians through their doors to help boost business during the typically slower tourist season.

› Chamber group predicts 200,000 new jobs in Florida this year
The Florida Chamber Foundation predicts that 200,000 non-agricultural jobs will be added to the state this year. During the first three months of the year, about 55,000 new jobs were added, up from the 27,400 added during the previous quarter, the foundation said.

› South Florida's luxury car rental market is revving up
Nothing quite impresses an out-of-town client like whisking him around Miami in a flashy Ferrari, sleek Lamborghini or other hot luxury car. Celebrities, music moguls, wealthy Russian and Brazilian tourists, business people, athletes and other car enthusiasts are increasingly topping off their Miami experience by slipping behind the wheel of a luxury or exotic car — rented by the day, week or month.

› Doctors take their tablets to work
Broward Health, which has 2,000 physicians who practice at its hospitals, recently launched a "bring your own device" program at its Imperial Point hospital. The program invites doctors to bring their laptops or tablets into the hospital to enroll and encrypt them for use at the hospital or wherever they may want to update their patient orders or see records online.

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› SunColor is Orlando family's second act in paint business
Donald Strube Jr. and his brother Rick are back in the business they grew up with, seven years after the sale of their family's Color Wheel company. They have created a new company called SunColor, which launched last year. Its Orlando factory churns out paints sold directly to contractors and in half a dozen stores.

› Getting a share of the timeshare trade
When John Staley first got into the timeshare business with his wife, Delaina Probus-Staley, 15 years ago, the technology being used by the specialized segment of the travel industry was decidedly less digital.

› Scotland joins Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
Holy haggis. Scotland will be among the more than 25 marketplaces at the 18th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sept. 27-Nov. 11, 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort. The Scottish marketplace will offer traditional flavors paired with beers, meads and Scotch. On the heels of the hit Disney film, “Brave,” Scottish officials contacted festival planners about participating in this year’s event.

› Proposal for expanded Pinellas bus service eyes students
In redesigning the bus system, Pinellas County transit officials are hoping to attract thousands more riders, including tourists and commuters. They're also eyeing another target group: high school students.