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Tuesday's Daily Pulse

Florida lawmakers defend hands-off approach on federal health care

Republican lawmakers are fighting back against criticism that their hands-off approach to the federal health care law is leaving consumers vulnerable. And they reject accusations that the law preventing the state from regulating health insurance rates for two years was based on faulty or misleading information. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

» Scott raises privacy concerns in navigator program
» Health Care Battle Continues to Shape Florida Politics
» PolitiFact Florida: Marco Rubio says patients won't be able to keep their doctors under Obamacare
» With health insurance law, premiums to change for many

State spent more than $2.6 million on security

Florida taxpayers are spending more to provide security for Gov. Rick Scott, as well as for visitors including President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. A new report released Monday showed that the state spent $2.64 million on security between July 2012 and June 2013. That was the highest amount spent by state authorities on security in the last eight years. [Source: AP]

Doctors seek new practice options to offset rising expenses

Individually and in groups, South Florida doctors are trying new business models for their practices that can reduce costs but may increase their risk. Palm Beach County neurologist James Goldenberg says his practice is weighing a "risk" model where government or managed-care providers pay doctors a flat sum to care for patients. The doctors make money if they control their costs. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Lawmaker looks to sell lotto tickets online

Want to buy some lottery tickets but can't make it to your local 7-11, supermarket or gas station? State Sen. Gwen Margolis, D-Miami, has an alternative: a bill that would let customers buy online. But that may not go over so well with the local retailers who currently make big bucks selling paper Lottery tickets. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Ban on smoking brings new members to lodges

For generations, lodges for social and charitable organizations such as the Moose and the Elks have been widely regarded as dimly lighted barrooms where members could not just fraternize over food and drinks but light up. Yet the anti-smoking sentiment that has already snuffed out tobacco use on airlines, in hospitals and at many public facilities is now prevailing in these once smoke-filled rooms as well. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]


› Shands settles $26 million whistleblower case on billing
UF Health Shands Hospital has paid the U.S. Department of Justice $26 million in a settlement over allegations of billing processes resulting in overpayments by Medicare and Medicaid.

› Critic questions Orlando's land price for Magic complex
The Orlando Magic will pay the city as much as $12.7 million for Orlando Police Headquarters and a public parking garage to make way for a $100 million entertainment complex, according to records obtained by the Orlando Sentinel. But is it a fair deal for taxpayers?

› Despite more jobs, number of food stamp recipients keeps rising
Despite a dramatic increase in workers finding jobs in the past year, the number of people on food stamps in Broward and Palm Beach counties continues to rise to historic levels.

› Tech program catering to women returns next month
For Peggy Evanich, a program designed to get more female leadership in male-dominated tech businesses came right on time for her to start a company developing small satellites. Evanich was among more than 50 women to participate in last year’s Empowering Women in Technology Startups.

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› Galaxy Elementary opens its green doors on first day of school
The re-designed, eco-friendly Galaxy Elementary opened its "green" doors to 580 students Monday for the first day of school, boasting hallways equipped with interactive white boards, classrooms with sliding glass doors and an auditorium complete with hands-on kinetic experiments in every corner.

› Pair Thriving for More Than Decade at South Lakeland Salon
As an Aveda Concept Salon, one of only two in Polk County, Micheline SalonSpa offers a full array of products from a company credited with adhering when possible to all-natural, organic formulas manufactured with wind power.

› St. Petersburg's marketing department faces criticism
The marketing department's mission is to tout the city as an "urban resort destination," but several council members and a mayoral candidate give that effort a failing grade. The department's 19 employees and $2.1 million annual budget have become talking points on the campaign trail.

› Opko Health listed on Tel Aviv Stock Exchange
Miami Beach billionaire Dr. Phillip Frost, who heads companies in both Florida and Israel, has won Opko Health a listing on the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange. The Miami-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology company will still be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under OPK.