Capitol: Nursing Homes, Red-Light Cameras
Health care and safety triggered lots of discussion in the state Capitol Wednesday. Here are some highlights:
Nursing Home Lawsuits
A bill protecting nursing home financial investors from lawsuits has reached the Senate Floor. Sen. John Thrasher’s bill (SB 670) would steer complaints toward operators, management and caregivers, The Florida Current reports. A companion House bill (HB 569) won unanimous support from the House Judiciary Committee last week.
Without enough votes lined up, Senate Transportation Chairman Jeff Brandes put the brakes on a bill (SB 144) that focused on repealing the state's red-light camera law. Proposed changes to increase regulations on the use of the devices also failed, the News Service of Florida reports.
Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, is moving forward with a plan to give Visit Florida $5 million annually, including $1.5 million in matching grants, to push medical travel packages that would include transportation, food and hotel. Read more.
Medicaid Expansion Push
Roughly 100 nurses, doctors and consumers are lobbying legislators to reconsider Medicaid expansion. The advocates from Miami’s Jackson Health System say chronically-ill patients are falling through the cracks because state lawmakers decided not to expand Medicaid to more than 1 million Floridians. Read more.
Children’s Hospital Funding
Florida’s children’s hospitals are lobbying lawmakers to repeal a 2011 Medicaid law that will strip more than $100 million from their budgets, St. Petersblog reports. The state’s two free-standing facilities, Miami Children’s Hospital and All Children’s in St. Petersburg say they could see funding drop $17.6 million next year.