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Thursday's Afternoon Update

States that decided not to expand Medicaid to lose billions

A new study found Texas, Florida, Georgia,and Virginia were the biggest losers among states not expanding Medicaid because they are forgoing billions of dollars in federal funds, while residents in their states are contributing to the cost of the expansions in other states. More at UPI.

U.S. jobless claims plunge, as layoffs slow

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits tumbled 23,000 last week to 298,000, nearly a six-year low that shows companies are laying off fewer workers. The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average declined 10,750 to 322,250. More at the AP.

Fight continues over trauma centers

Business Profile

Crowley Maritime Group

crowley maritime
The effort to raise the Costa Concordia ship off the coast of Italy and tow it to land was closely watched at Jacksonville-based Crowley Maritime Group. The Jacksonville company owns Titan Salvage, a 211-person Pompano Beach company that has partnered with Italian firm Micoperi to do the recovery work.

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The Florida Department of Health’s new plan for approving hospital trauma centers continues to attract debate from parties that have bickered over the issue for years. The proposal creates a point system to determine the number of trauma centers in Florida’s 19 service areas. More at Health News Florida.

Southwest Florida on the fast-track for proposed railroad corridor

Regional transportation planners want Florida to buy the CSX rail line running through Lee and Collier counties to secure a corridor for future rapid transit commuter services, freight services and pedestrian and bicycle uses. More at the Fort Myers News-Press.

Six insurers eyeing 151,000 Citizens policies

State regulators have approved six property insurers to remove up to 151,000 policies from state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. in February. The so-called takeouts are part of a continuing plan to reduce Citizens' future catastrophe-related risk, such as hurricanes. More at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Dollars and Sense
Talking to your children about the economy

piggy bankIn this time of extreme economic stress, it can be difficult to leave the problems of the economy off the kitchen table. Fears about mortgages, college tuition, retirement, and day-to-day expenses haunt the halls of many family homes. While open communication between parents and children is the foundation of a healthy relationship, parents shouldn't overburden their children. Read more from the Orlando Sentinel and the American Psychological Association.