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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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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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Charlotte’s Web challenge period ends March 24

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It’s coming down to the wire with the finishing line on the move. A deadline to challenge the proposed rule for the state’s medicinal marijuana law is March 24, according to the Department of Health, not Thursday. “The later date is due to the Revised Statement of Estimated Regulatory Costs, which was prepared in response to the submission and rejection of a Lower Cost Regulatory Alternative,” wrote Tiffany Cowie, DOH’s spokesperson in an e-mail exchange. To review: the Joint Administrative…

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DOH chief John Armstrong gives update on Early Step programs, staff cuts

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To abate a $6.9 million shortfall the Florida Department of Health has trimmed back from 22 to seven the number of  Tallahassee staff administering the Early Steps program that serves infants and toddlers with special healthcare needs. Department of Health Secretary John Armstrong, M.D., told members of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services on Wednesday that the money saved on salary and benefits has been plugged into Early Step program on the service end and that the department has…

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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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