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Health News Florida
Every day, hundreds of sick and injured patients walk into free and charitable clinics around the Tampa Bay area in need of a doctor.Many are suffering from chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Some patients were referred to the clinics by staff at hospitals where they landed after years of neglecting to care for treatable conditions.The clinics allow the patients to pay what they can, or nothing at all. They are staffed by doctors and nurses who volunteer their time. They survive off donations and small grants.Many of the patients have jobs but they are living paycheck to paycheck. None have health insurance, either because they do not qualify for Medicaid or can’t afford private coverage. For these patients, the clinics are often their only option for primary care.

Capitol: Guns, Nursing Homes, More

The capitol buildings in Tallahassee

A Senate panel approved a measure that would block some people who have voluntarily gotten mental health treatment from purchasing a firearm, the News Service of Florida reports. The bill will go to the Senate floor for a vote next. 

Also headed to the Senate floor is a measure that will loosen regulations on nursing homes and make it harder to sue owners of facilities, the Florida Times-Union reports.

The House and Senate have agreed to spend $36.3 million next year for the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities to move about 750 disabled people off a waitlist of 22,000, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. The money will pay for home and community-based services.