February 22, 2024
Florida lawsuit against feds could delay expansion of child health insurance

Florida Trend Health Care

Florida lawsuit against feds could delay expansion of child health insurance

| 2/6/2024

Florida lawsuit against feds could delay expansion of child health insurance

A plan to make affordable health care available for more Florida children from low-income families could be delayed after the DeSantis administration last week sued the federal government over eligibility rules for KidCare, a federally subsidized children’s health insurance program. The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Tampa on Thursday by the state and the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, accuses the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid of exceeding its authority by telling states they cannot kick kids off the program if their parents stop paying premiums. More from the  Tampa Bay Times, Axios and Florida Politics.

Florida group starts signature collection as part of Medicaid expansion effort

A coalition of groups that push for health care equity has begun to gather petition signatures supporting a Florida constitutional amendment to expand Medicaid. Florida Decides Healthcare needs roughly 1 million signatures to get its proposal on the ballot in Florida in 2026. The proposal would expand Medicaid access to adults earning at or below 138% of the federal poverty level, or an income of $20,120 a year for one person. More from  Health News Florida and the Tampa Bay Times.

Florida STI rates higher than national average

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published its sexually transmitted infections report for 2022, and Florida landed above the national average for all STIs except chlamydia. The CDC publishes its annual surveillance report to provide trends in nationally notifiable STIs, help it understand the magnitude of STIs in the country and identify which subpopulations are most impacted. [Source: Pensacola News Journal]

Florida Supreme Court to hear pivotal battle over abortion

Florida abortion rights groups are heading to the state Supreme Court this week as part of their effort to put abortion protections on the ballot in November. The court will hear arguments Wednesday about whether the ballot measure language meets state rules, the final hurdle to clear before the question can be put to voters. It needs to issue a ruling by April 1. More from The Hill and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Florida grand jury investigating COVID-19 vaccines releases first report

More than a year after the Florida Supreme Court granted Gov. Ron DeSantis’ request to empanel a statewide grand jury to investigate “criminal or wrongful activity” related to COVID-19 vaccines, the body released its first report and said its probe is “nowhere near complete.” Their 33-page report released late Friday said “lockdowns were not a good trade” and that “we have never had sound evidence of (masks’) effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 transmission,” among other conclusions. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Facing doctor shortage, BayCare to train hundreds more in Tampa Bay
With Florida facing a shortage of doctors, Tampa Bay’s largest health care system plans to bring hundreds more to the region for training, hospital officials announced Thursday. BayCare Health System, which runs 16 hospitals, will launch at least seven multiyear-residency programs to train young physicians at seven medical centers in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Polk counties, said Sowmya Viswanathan, BayCare’s chief physician executive.

› Is social media making your kid sick? A Miami children’s hospital is taking action
Depression. Addiction. Eating disorders. A “mental health tsunami” is affecting kids and teens. And research shows a correlation between the internet, social media and an increase among children for suicidal thoughts and other health-related concerns, experts say. That’s why Nicklaus Children’s Hospital near South Miami is calling on parents to help protect their kids from the dark side of today’s digital world.

› No longer lost in ‘the shuffle,’ Orlando homeless get health care on the street
More than 7,000 Central Florida residents experienced homelessness in the last year, the Homeless Services Network of Central Florida reports, with a 38% increase in people living in their cars, in the woods, in emergency shelters or on the streets this summer compared with the last. Many unhoused people use the emergency room as their only source of health care, which drives up health-care costs for everyone.

› Florida House panel backs ‘rural emergency hospitals’
With supporters saying the proposal would help ensure access to health care, the House began moving forward Friday with a proposal that would create a new category of “rural emergency hospitals” in the state. The House Select Committee on Health Innovation unanimously approved the bill (HB 309), sponsored by Rep. Jason Shoaf, R-Port St. Joe. The Senate Health Policy Committee last week approved the Senate version (SB 644), sponsored by Sen. Corey Simon, R-Tallahassee.

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