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

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.  

When it comes to children getting insurance, there’s good news and bad news. The good news: the number of uninsured children in Florida has dropped—as it has across the county. The bad news: Florida remains near the top of states with the number of kids who don’t have health insurance.

The federal government has released an initial list of physicians and teaching hospitals across the county that have gotten payments from the medical industry. But federal officials say the data comes with some caveats.  

Florida recently finished rolling out a new way of providing care to more than 3.5 million low-income Floridians. Nearly all of them are now enrolled in managed care plans. The state agency that runs Medicaid recently released a series of comments from various players in the industry praising the rollout. But some groups say the new system is still plagued with problems.

Florida’s health insurance marketplace debuted earlier this year but so far, less than forty people have signed up. Now the board that runs the program is looking to attract health insurance providers, and to do that, it’s turning to a new company to help it expand its services.

The Bay County Jail is experiencing a mental health crisis, leaving resources stretched thin and funds low.  The Bay County Sheriffs office is asking the county for an extra $430,000 to hire nine additional officers, but the mental health crisis in Bay County is not an isolated problem.

South Florida's Assisted Living Facilities were the subject of a series of 2011 Miami Herald reports alleging lax oversight and abuse of residents in several South Florida facilities. Now, years later, Florida lawmakers are inching closer on bills cracking down on the industry.

Lynn Hatter/WFSU / WFSU

Thirty or so attendees at St. Mary Primitive Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Fla., gathered on a recent evening to hear a presentation by the Obamacare Enrollment Team on their options to get insurance under the Affordable Care Act. 

"If anybody is interested in getting enrolled, we can get you enrolled tonight," they were told.

Signs outside the church looked official: A familiar, large "O" with a blue outline, white center and three red stripes.

Thirty or so attendees at St. Mary Primitive Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Fla., gathered on a recent evening to hear a presentation by the Obamacare Enrollment Team on their options to get insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

"If anybody is interested in getting enrolled, we can get you enrolled tonight," they were told.

Signs outside the church looked official: A familiar, large "O" with a blue outline, white center and three red stripes.

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