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No supplemental Medicaid funds in House healthcare budget

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The House released a healthcare budget on Tuesday that has no supplemental Medicaid dollars to help pay hospitals, federally qualified health centers, graduate medical education and even prepaid health plans. House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman state Rep. Matt Hudson said it would be “premature” for the House to include supplemental, or  Low Income Pool, dollars in the budget given the fact the federal government has not approved the continuation of the program beyond June 30, 2015. Hudson said as…

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Legislative heavyweights slim down as part of ‘Biggest Loser’ competition

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Legislative heavyweights lined up outside the Third Floor Capitol Clinic on Monday. The four most influential legislators in health care — Reps. Jason Brodeur and Matt Hudson and Sens. Rene Garcia and Aaron Bean–weren’t talking Low Income Pool, telemedicine, Medicaid expansion, or any other health care issues, though. They lined up to weigh in and compete in the 2015 Biggest Loser Contest. Modeled after the popular TV series the Tallahassee Biggest Loser Contest encourages those in the legislative process –either…

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Matt Gaetz says he’s frustrated by Charlotte’s Web’s unsolved mystery

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State Rep. Matt Gaetz began Monday morning describing an “unsolved mystery,” how to get Florida’s first legal marijuana crop in the ground and begin supplying children afflicted with a severe form of epilepsy with medicinal oil to calm their seizures –- which can be fatal. “I sense an enhanced appetite for legislative review but how to inject the Legislature into rule making without creating more delay is an unsolved mystery – at this point,” said Gaetz. Gaetz was the House…

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Lawmakers consider giving dentists up to $100K to work in underserved areas

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House and Senate panels will take up legislation on Monday that would create “Dental Care Access Accounts” and provide up to $100k over five years to attract dentists to work in areas that lack access to dental care. The bills — HB 657 and SB 606 — would allow dentists who work at public health programs or who are committed to opening a private practice capable of serving at least 1,200 patients to qualify for the accounts. Under the bills…

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The week that was in Florida politics – March 13

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I was all prepared to begin this week’s column telling you how cool and smooth I think John Armstrong is. I’ve taken some shots at the Secretary of Health over his handling of developing rules to implement the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014. The process places us in an adversarial relationship and the Scott administration communication strategy makes it a heated one. My Buckeye education though mandates acknowledgement of a skilled player at work. Seriously, Pittsburgh Pirates icons decorate…

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Another challenge to Charlotte’s Web rule — this time from mother of child with inoperable brain tumor

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The mother of a 4-year-old afflicted with an inoperable brain tumor has challenged the proposed rule for the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014. Moriah Barnhart’s Jacksonville attorney filed the paperwork Wednesday with the Division of Administration Hearings. Ian Christensen attacked, among other things, the makeup of a negotiated rulemaking panel DOH had assembled in an attempt to reach consensus on a regulatory structure for a medicinal marijuana industry. The document reveals he intends to argue before an administrative law…

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Capitol Preview: Money, press skits and the search for clarity

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This week politics at the state Capitol will be about money and a search for clarity. Legislators will get a better view of the hill they need to climb in building a state budget for the year beginning July 1. The Revenue Estimating Conference meets Tuesday and will count up how much tax money the state has collected so far and project how much more money will roll in by the end of June. These are the numbers lawmakers will use when…

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