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New NE Florida lawmakers receive committee assignments

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Fresh off easy general election victories in special elections to fill vacancies left in the wake of former state Sen. John Thrasher‘s move from the Legislature to the helm of Florida State University, three newly minted legislators representing the northeastern corner of Florida received their committee assignments this week. State Sen. Travis Hutson of Elkton, who replaced Thrasher in District 6, will sit on the following committee panels: Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice, Children, Families, and Elder Affairs, Commerce and Tourism,…

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Medicaid dental carve-out saga shows fundamentals still matter

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Amid the early skirmishes of the 2015 legislative session, an unexpected upset occurred last week when a bill died in its first committee of reference. The fact the bill died is not entirely surprising, especially in light of the policy in the bill. In fact, that the bill was even being considered is a testament to the incredible effort of its proponents. This is the third year in a row the bill was being considered, and it had every political advantage…

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House panel kills bill to change Medicaid dental programs for children

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On Tuesday, a Florida House panel killed a bill attempting to overhaul the Florida Medicaid program that provides dental care to children. With a 6-6 tie, the House Health Innovation Subcommittee shelved HB 601, filed by Tequesta Republican state Rep. MaryLynn Magar. In the state’s new Medicaid managed-care structure, HMOs and other plans are responsible for offering dental care services to children in the system. HB 601 sought to take pediatric dental services away from the broader Medicaid managed-care program, and…

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