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Sylvia Burwell

State asks feds to extend Medicaid managed-care waiver

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Florida has asked the federal government for a five-year extension of a waiver that allows it to provide Medicaid services through a managed care program. Gov. Rick Scott filed the state’s application on Friday, seeking to extend the program through June 30, 2022. The program would remain essentially the same. “The demonstration objectives and the financial eligibility criteria for waiver recipients remain unchanged since the Managed Medical Assistance Program extension request was approved June 31, 2014,” Scott wrote in a…

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Let Florida use Frankenskeeters, lawmakers tell feds

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A throng of Democratic and Republican state House members — 61 in all — are asking the federal government to let Florida deploy genetically modified mosquitoes in the battle against the Zika virus. “This modified mosquito, developed by the company Oxitec, has proven exceptionally effective,” said their letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, also signed by Republican Speaker-designate Richard Corcoran and Democratic Leader-designate Janet Cruz. Where the insects have been used, they “reduced the target mosquito population by 90 percent without harming either…

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Florida lawmakers urge action to stop the spread of Zika

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Florida lawmakers continue to push for more federal assistance to fight the spread of Zika. Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday requested the Centers for Disease Control send an additional 1,300 Zika antibody tests to Florida. The additional tests would allow more Floridians, including pregnant women and new mothers, to see if they have had Zika. There are 134 cases of travel related Zika in Florida. According to the Department of Health, there are also 38 cases that involve pregnant women,…

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Rick Scott calls on Barack Obama to fulfill Florida’s requests to fight spread of Zika

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Immediate action is needed to combat the spread of Zika. That’s the message Gov. Rick Scott conveyed in a letter to President Barack Obama on Wednesday. In the letter, Scott called on the Obama administration to immediately provide Florida with Zika preparedness kits, resources to enhance surveillance and abatement, resources to increase training for mosquito control technicians, and resources to increase mosquito laboratory capacity. “The fact that Congress has not taken immediate action to protect our nation before hurricane season began…

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Rick Scott calls on HHS to send 5,000 Zika preparedness kits to Florida

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Gov. Rick Scott is calling on federal officials to help Florida prepare for the spread of Zika. Scott met with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell on Wednesday morning. In a statement after the meeting, Scott said he met with Burwell to “relay requests that state agencies need from the federal government.” Those requests, said Scott, include 5,000 Zika preparedness kits to “ensure Florida residents and visitors have access to items that will reduce the risk of getting Zika…

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Kathy Castor questions if Florida officials “manipulated” data regarding reduction of HIV infections

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Citing questions regarding the accuracy of the recent reduction in the state’s announcement of HIV transmissions, Tampa Bay area Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor wants the feds to intervene. In a letter to Health & Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, Castor says that there are questions regarding the Florida Department of Health’s significant downward revision to its reported HIV cases for 2014. “Florida may have the largest increase in the rate of new HIV cases,” the Tampa Representative writes. “Floridians deserve to know the public health facts.…

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Could changes in proposed medical marijuana initiative see Bob Buckhorn soften his opposition on the issue?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Bob Buckhorn alienated some Democrats going into the 2014 election — and not just because of his public refusal to back Charlie Crist, the Florida Democratic Party’s gubernatorial nominee (he later said he had voted for Crist). The Tampa Mayor also opposed the proposed medical marijuana constitutional amendment, which most polls showed Democrats strongly supported. The ballot measure generated almost 58 percent of the popular vote, a clear mandate, but short of the 60 percent required to become the law in…

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