Affordable Care Act

Sen. David Simmons was a math major in college. So the Orlando Republican was well-equipped to search for flaws in cost estimates for expanding Medicaid that are floating around Tallahassee.

But he's a lawyer, not an economist. So like other senators on the Select Committee on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, he had to do a lot of homework before this week's hearings with two health economists.


Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economist  largely responsible for designing "RomneyCare" and "ObamaCare," will speak today to the Florida Senate Select Committee set up to make recommendations on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Also scheduled to speak is Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute.  Cannon will also be the headliner for a press conference Wednesday morning in Tallahassee by the James Madison Institute, which will present its reasons for opposing expansion of Medicaid with federal funds as allowed under the ACA.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the state of Florida will have to either pay for health coverage for temporary "OPS" employees or pay a penalty. Coverage would not be cheap, but the penalty for not covering them would be greater.

Florida lawmakers, playing catch-up on the Affordable Care Act, got a break from Washington on Tuesday just before hearing from confused business owners, a worried widow and others.

Florida Legislature

Many speakers at a Health Care Affordability Summit on Friday said the medical culture is mired in the past and called for smarter use of technology to contain costs, reduce errors and improve access.

Rep. Matt Hudson, who chairs the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee, served as convener and cheerleader for a panel of experts who pressed that case. Hudson said one of his main quests since he came into office is to "create some better efficiencies."

16 New ACOs in Florida

Jan 11, 2013

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services approved 106 accountable care organizations, and 16 of the new ACOs will be in Florida, FierceHealthcare reports.

Newly-elected state representative and emergency room doctor Cary Pigman says Florida lawmakers have given up their fight against the Affordable Care Act and will try “to make it work.”

Wollschlaeger: Guns and the Affordable Care Act

Jan 8, 2013

The tragedy of the  horrific shooting in Newtown Connecticut gradually faded from the daily news. Sadly, this shooting will be followed by another one and we will continue to seek answers to why it happened and what we could have done to prevent another massacre. 

In my opinion we have to recognize that the National Rifle Association (NRA) tentacles of influence have penetrated all aspects of our lives.

Gov. Rick Scott, a health-industry millionaire who became governor after promising to kill 'ObamaCare,' made national news Monday simply by going to Washington.

Associated Press

This is the year that Florida will tackle a raft of controversial and difficult health programs, from the privatization of Medicaid to a debate over how to carry out the Affordable Care Act.

A state-ordered study has placed the health system’s fair market value at $271-$320 million if it were to lose its local tax support.

Many people who are uninsured, the ones whom the Affordable Care Act is designed to help, are terrified of it because they have little understanding of it. A non-profit group says that 83 percent of those who would qualify for free coverage don't know that.

President of Associated Industries of Florida Thomas C. Feeney says the Health Insurance Tax in the Affordable Care Act will mean a loss of jobs and higher costs for care, and it must be stopped now.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott and 10 other Republican governors have asked the President for discussion on relaxing the health-law rules about Medicaid expansion and health exchanges.

The federal government says it won’t cover the full cost of expanding Medicaid for Florida and other states unless they accept the full group of eligibles defined by the Affordable Care Act.

Florida primary care doctors who treat Medicaid patients are getting a huge pay raise on Jan. 1 with funding from the Affordable Care Act. State lawmakers say they won't try to block it.

KrisAnne Hall, lead speaker for a Tea Party and 9/12 group asking lawmakers to "nullify" the Affordable Care Act, says she felt threatened by a letter from Senate President Don Gaetz and called him an "overbearing blowhard," according to a blog post on the Miami Herald's Naked Politics page

In the wake of negative public attention, Orlando-based Darden Restaurants now says it won’t cut the hours of current full-time workers to avoid providing health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

At a Florida senate hearing Monday to discuss how to implement the Affordable Care Act, three dozen Tea Party 9/12 members booed, yelled and demanded that the officials defy the law.

A new law has added more synthetic drugs to the state’s controlled substances list, the Associated Press reports.  It’s now a third-degree felony to make or sell these drugs that are more commonly known by their street names: K2, spice and bath salts. 

If the Affordable Care Act ends up covering most of Florida's uninsured -- a decision up to Gov. Scott and the Legislature -- taxing districts that now cover indigent care face a struggle over whether to continue. Palm Beach County is already seeing that.

Last week, Florida's governor and lawmakers asked HHS for guidance on setting up a health exchange. On Tuesday HHS released a gusher of guidelines.

On Jan. 1, primary-care doctors who see Medicaid patients are supposed to get a whopping pay boost under the Affordable Care Act, with federal funds. But will Florida comply?

As Kaiser Health News reports, HHS has given states another month to decide on health exchanges. But Florida legislative leaders say they can't act until spring, and sent a list of questions.

Gov. Rick Scott, who had signaled a thaw in his anti-'ObamaCare' attitude on Friday, now has gone further; he wants to have a "conversation" with federal officials.

Gov. Scott, who still ruled out cooperation on "ObamaCare" as of Wednesday, changed his tune Friday, issuing the statement: "Just saying 'no' is not an answer."

Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Republican legislative leaders counted on Mitt Romney to win the election and repeal what they call “ObamaCare.” That didn't happen.

Now, the state’s about to miss an important deadline in implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

On Nov. 16, states are supposed to turn in the applications and blueprints for their health insurance exchanges. The exchanges are virtual shopping malls where the uninsured are supposed to go a year from now to sign up for health coverage for 2014.

Obama, health law win

Nov 7, 2012

President Obama's re-election means the survival of the Affordable Care Act, which Florida's Republican leaders fought intensely.

Florida's governor and legislature have said they won't cooperate with the Affordable Care Act. They could slow its implementation if they continue to balk.

When Florida's legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act failed in June, it placed increased importance on the outcome of today's election. The fate of the law -- and millions of uninsured -- rides on the vote tally.