Lynn Hatter

Lynn Hatter is a  Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative.  When she’s not working, Lynn spends her time watching sci-fi and action movies, writing her own books, going on long walks through the woods, traveling and exploring antique stores. Follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter: @HatterLynn.

Phone: (850) 487-3086

Governor Rick Scott has selected nine people to serve on his hospital funding commission.  The formation of the groups as all or part of a major federal healthcare funding program expires next month.

The legislative graveyard is littered with dead bills, but some issues are too stubborn to go down without a fight. One of them is Medicaid Expansion. It’s is down, but some lawmakers and healthcare advocates are hoping to get it to move from the zombie column, into the land of the living.  A lawsuit, coupled with the fate of Florida’s budget—may depend on it.

Governor Rick Scott’s newly-formed hospital workgroup is quickly becoming a hot ticket. Several lawmakers are volunteering to serve on the panel that will examine hospital funding.


Florida lawmakers may get back to work on a budget as soon as June 1st. A joint memo by the House and Senate have declared the timeframe for Special Session “A”.

Governor Rick Scott is following through on a promise to examine the finances of Florida’s public hospitals.  The move comes as an impasse between the legislative chambers deepens.

The Florida House has adjourned for the 2015 lawmaking session. The move comes as the legislature was gridlock over whether to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Governor Rick Scott says if the legislature can’t get an answer on healthcare funding, he’ll call a special session to put a continuation budget in place. That would carry the state through the upcoming fiscal year, which begins the first of July. But in the meantime, some hospitals could be forced to shut down as the legislative standoff on healthcare funding continues.

As the fog surrounding healthcare in Florida thickens, some observers say there’s a way out of the storm…if lawmakers can ever make it there.  Here's a look at some of the possibilities for a resolution to the legislature’s healthcare funding impasse.

The Florida legislature has passed the point of no return and lawmakers are preparing for an extended session.  The Senate’s budget chief says he doesn’t think lawmakers can get done on time.

It’s a year of disruption in Florida. Bills targeting the ride-share service Uber, and the room share system Air B&B are moving. Craft Brewers are challenging major distributors for dominance and now some doctors are getting in the disruptive spirit by kicking traditional health insurance to the curb.

The federal government says talks between it at the State of Florida over the future of healthcare are still on. Discord over the future of Florida's healthcare system reigns as the federal government, Florida House and Senate haggle over billions in healthcare funding. And with a month left until the state legislature adjourns, all sides are digging in on their positions.

The Florida Senate has approved several bills aimed at improving education and workforce outcomes for Floridians with disabilities.

A plan to expand the powers of advanced registered nurses hasn’t yet caught on in the legislature, but eased out of a House Health panel Wednesday. The fate of bill remains cloudy, but its sponsor says even if it fails this year—the issue isn’t going away.

Continued uncertainty over federal health funding is causing budget pains in the Florida legislature. The House and Senate have a $4 billion  gap in their proposed spending plans for the upcoming fiscal year—and that’s largely due to disagreements over the biggest part of state spending: Medicaid.

The first floor of the Capital is swarming with people dashing back and forth—some pushing frantically at the slow-running elevators, others giving up—and dashing up the stairwells instead. Off to the side, is 23-year-old Broward resident Matt Ross.

Florida house budget writers say they expect the federal government to give the state money to support hospitals that treat uninsured patients. But they don’t believe it will remain the same as the current program, and they’re not counting on the dollars as they build a budget.

A proposal allowing guns to be carried on public college and university campuses is gaining steam in the legislature. While the bill applies to all public higher educations in Florida—One school, Florida State University—is dominating the conversation.

If you can’t get to the doctor, it could become easier for the doctor to come to you. That’s the point of telemedicine, which connects physicians to patients through video conferencing.  A compromise worked out with various hospitals, and physician organizations has cleared the way for a telemedicine proposal to get through the legislature.

Florida lawmakers are watching a projected $1 billion surplus disappear before their eyes. The cause: the impending loss of $1 billion in federal funds that support hospitals that treat low-income, uninsured patients. Both Governor Rick Scott and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli are counting on that money to come down, but the Senate is not.

Florida's small-business marketplace is in for major changes under the Senate's Medicaid expansion proposal. After a slow start getting up and running, Florida Health Choices could see its customer base grow exponentially under the Senate's plan.

Last week Senate leaders opened the door to using federal funds to support more than 800,000 uninsured Floridians. Now lawmakers in the chamber have a plan. But it’s not quite what some proponents of a Medicaid expansion, expected.

Florida House and Senate Leaders have boasted about an ambitious agenda to improve the experiences of persons with disabilities. But some disability rights groups fear a proposal in the legislature filed by two powerful lawmakers, could privatize one of the important job placement programs that people with ‘unique abilities’ rely upon.

With a potential $1 billion budget hole looming, the Florida Senate is starting to consider whether and how to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid. There are at least two proposed bills floating around the chamber, and lawmakers are also raising the possibility of resurrecting the original plan, dubbed NegronCare.

Florida Lawmakers are on their way to expanding a new scholarship program for students with disabilities.

Senate Bill 602 expands the definition of autism. That would allow more families to tap into the program. It would also cost the state about $30 million, with an estimated cost of nearly $50 million for the upcoming year.

The Florida Senate is getting ready to debate expanding Medicaid in Florida. The issue has been a major contention point between the House and Senate for the past three years.

Governor Rick Scott says he’s disappointed the federal government won’t extend a billion-dollar program to reimburse hospitals that treat low-income Floridians. But the move by the feds to stop the program is not unexpected.

The next big blow to already-fragile local pension plans could come from retiree health benefits. That’s a according to the latest report on pensions from the public-policy driven, LeRoy Collins Institute.

The Senate says it would consider expanding Florida's Medicaid program to nearly a million more low-income Floridians. The House is continuing to say no.

The federal government’s deal with Indiana to expand that state’s Medicaid program could boost the prospect of expansion in Florida. Indiana’s Medicaid expansion program includes co-pays and premiums for low-income people—something popular among republicans.  Senate President Andy Gardiner says Indiana has caught his chamber’s attention.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell says her agency is open to negotiating with states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs to more people.

The pro-business Florida Chamber of Commerce has unveiled its health priorities for the upcoming legislative session.

The list includes big battles of years past—like letting some nurses and physician assistants expand their scope-of-practice, revamping the rules regarding medical lawsuits and possibly expanding the state’s Medicaid program for low-income Floridians. But that last part comes with a caveat--like capping how much Medicaid can take up in overall state spending.

A coalition of businesses groups, local officials and healthcare industry representatives has rolled out a plan to insure nearly one million low-income Floridians. But they’re not calling it a Medicaid Expansion. 

More than 800,ooo Floridians are in health insurance limbo. They fall into what’s called the Medicaid coverage gap. Reed Mahoney of Tallahassee, is among them.

A new coalition combining local business and health care groups is pushing a plan to insure more than a million Floridians who currently fall in the so-called Medicaid coverage gap.

More than a million Floridians make too much money to qualify for Medicaid under the state’s current income limits, but too little to qualify for insurance subsidies in the federally-run insurance exchange. The Florida legislature has twice rejected plans to expand Medicaid to those people.