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Steve Crisafulli downplays Senate rejection of House healthcare proposals

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House Republicans earlier this month rejected a Senate proposal to extend health coverage after a bitterly divisive debate that lasted nearly seven hours. House leaders such as state Rep. Jason Brodeur and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli contended a better way was to fix other problems with the state’s healthcare laws. The answer from the Senate? No debate, no vote. At least not now. On Monday, Senate Health Policy Committee Chairman state Sen. Aaron Bean announced his committee wouldn’t be voting…

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Mitch Perry Report for 6.12.15 — On this LGBT issue, Florida and Rick Scott resist social conservative pressures

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Thirty-eights years after Anita Bryant, Florida no longer officially bans gays from adopting children. Though it’s been legal for such couples to adopt since 2010, Governor Scott signed a bill into law last night that now makes that official.  As you’ll recall, this issue roiled social conservatives in and outside of the Legislature this spring. The inclusion of the amendment by Miami Beach Democrat David Richardson to repeal the state statute on gay adoption (which was ruled unconstitutional by a court in…

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Rick Scott signs bill that repeals gay-adoption ban in Florida

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It took him awhile, but Florida Gov. Rick Scott today signed HB 7013, an adoption bill that offers financial incentives for qualifying employees of state agencies who adopt a child from the child welfare system. The measure would provide $5,000 payments to government workers who adopt foster children, with the payments increasing to $10,000 for adopting children with special needs. It also awards incentive payments to community-based care lead agencies (CBCs) and their subcontractors for achieving specified adoption performance standards. But what will…

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House health panel passes six ‘disruption’ bills

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A healthcare panel on Wednesday took up and passed six bills that, combined, House leaders claim will lower the costs of health care and, in turn, increase access to doctors and services. The Health and Human Services Committee spent two hours hearing the bills, which range from establishing a new healthcare provider called recovery care centers, to eliminating certificates of need for hospitals, to allowing nurses and physician assistants to prescribe controlled substances. They all passed by comfortable margins. One…

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House OKs bill to eliminate CON for hospitals

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A House healthcare subcommittee moved a bill to eliminate “certificates of need” for all hospital services. The bill does not eliminate CON for nursing homes or hospices where there has been a flurry of interest after a long-time moratorium on the construction of new nursing home beds was lifted. HB 31A was opposed by the Florida Hospital Association, whose lobbyist Bill Bell testified that most states still maintain CON for hospitals and, more specifically, the states surrounding Florida have CON…

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House-Senate healthcare fight nastily playing out on the Twitters

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The intense intra-cameral friction that defined the 2015 legislative session seems not to have dissipated after a few weeks off but rather compounded, culminating in the most antagonistic legislative hearing of the year at Tuesday’s meeting of the Senate Appropriations Committee. There, budget chief Tom Lee led a chorus of indignant senators who excoriated AHCA deputy director Justin Senior for allegedly evading Senate staff and showing favor to the House’s position on the revamped FHIX 2.0 healthcare expansion plan later approved by the committee. Charges of malfeasance,…

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Dueling presentations on FHIX plan show merits of health expansion all in the eye of beholder

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Healthcare committees in the House and Senate on Monday discussed the same proposal to expand healthcare access to the uninsured–SB 2A–in Florida. But it might not have sounded like it. In a “Tale of Two Cities”-esque tableau, the Senate discussed the bill for one hour before unanimously agreeing to pass it with sponsor and Health Care Policy Committee Chairman state Sen. Aaron Bean answering members’ questions. The House of Representatives discussed the measure for three hours but never took a…

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