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Florida Health Choices

Remembering Durell Peaden, 69

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Sen. Durell Peaden, a beloved and bemusing former lawmaker from the Panhandle known for his passion and savvy on health care issues, passed away this morning. He was 69. Peaden, known to intimates as “Doc,” had undergone double bypass surgery earlier this month and was in stable condition, resting in Pennsylvania afterward. He is survived by his wife, Nancy, and three children. Peaden’s death was announced by his cousin and Senate successor Sen. Greg Evers who, like the late Peaden, represents Crestview. “A very compassionate man…

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Former Sen. Durell Peaden stable in Pennsylvania after open heart surgery

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Former state Sen. Durell Peaden is stable in Pennsylvania after having double bypass surgery June 2. Peaden was traveling with his wife when he had the heart attack and was admitted to the hospital. Friends say he is in stable condition and should be able to return to Florida in the next few weeks. Peaden is the chairman of Florida Health Choices and since retiring from the Senate has kept an interest in graduate medical education. Florida Health Choices would have played…

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Medicaid expansion passes second Senate committee unanimously

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Despite testimony urging them to be wary of tapping into any increased Medicaid dollars, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services on Tuesday passed its Medicaid expansion bill that would provide coverage to an estimated 800,000 uninsured Floridians. Though the committee had been given three hours to debate and discuss SB 7044, sponsored by state Sen. Aaron Bean, it moved the bill in less than one hour. It passed unanimously despite opposition from Americans for Prosperity as well as…

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If Florida Health Choices is a gift, Richard Corcoran will return it

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Health Policy Committee Chairman and Vice Chairman Aaron Bean and Eleanor Sobel are working together on a Senate Medicaid expansion plan. But the two are at odds over how it should be administered, with Bean championing a little-known program called Florida Health Choices and Sobel throwing her weight behind the better known Florida Healthy Kids Corp, which administered the popular state children’s health insurance program. Sobel withdrew an amendment that would have carved the Florida Health Choices out of the mix in the development…

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Senate Health Policy Committee to decide how Medicaid expansion would be handled

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The Florida Senate is considering a Medicaid expansion and wants to create a new program to administer the expansion called the Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange. Senate Health policy committee members will not only debate the merits of tapping into available Medicaid dollars under the federal health-care law, often called Obamacare, but will also debate the merits of what organization should administer the new program. Senate Health Policy Committee chairman state Sen. Aaron Bean wants the Florida Health Choices Program…

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Struggling state-sponsored health insurance program is being managed by Tallahassee lobbyist

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Interesting report from Christine Jordan Sexton: A struggling state-sponsored health insurance program is being managed by Tallahassee lobbyist and political operative Lauren McCarthy, who receives $5,000 a month for part-time work. Meanwhile, state records still list her as representing private clients with ties to the health-care industry. Florida Health Choices, planned as an insurance exchange for people seeking non-traditional, inexpensive benefits, hired McCarthy in late July to work for up to five months getting the organization set up. McCarthy isn’t…

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