Florida House

Florida House Eyes Changes to Medicaid-Managed Care

Feb 5, 2020

Florida House Speaker Jose Oliva and his allies have loudly contended during the past two years that there’s too much government interference in health care, leading to monopolies and rising costs. 

House Passes Measure To Curb Athlete Heat Strokes

Jan 31, 2020

With supporters saying the bill will save lives, the Florida House has unanimously passed a measure that seeks to prevent heat strokes among high-school athletes. 

House Speaker Says Health Care Remains ‘Focus’

Jan 8, 2020
Jose Oliva addressing a room.
Florida House of Representatives

House Speaker Jose Oliva said Tuesday that health care continues to be his top priority for the upcoming legislative session after he pushed through a series of changes last year. 

A federal appeals court Friday cleared the way for a lawsuit that alleges the Florida House and Senate have violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing closed captioning on online videos of legislative meetings.

Florida House Seeks Ways To Trim Health Spending

Oct 17, 2019
Stethoscope on a pile of money.
iStock

Sending a signal that health care spending could be targeted for reductions next year, a House health panel is going to identify up to $624 million for possible “reprioritization.” 

While low-THC cannabis or hemp is available in stores, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried says it’s not legal …. Yet. Legislation proposed in both Chambers would change that. Tuesday the House bill passed its second committee.

Cherie Diez / Tampa Bay Times

The Florida House this week went to an appeals court to try to intervene in a potentially high-stakes case about regulations for the state’s medical-marijuana industry. 

Proposed Bills Would Ban Fracking In Florida

Dec 5, 2016
Chante Etan / Flickr

After a fierce legislative debate early this year about fracking, a freshman senator filed a proposal Friday that would bar the use of the controversial oil and gas drilling technique in Florida.

Mental health is a growing concern for the Florida House candidates at the largely-rural district eight, which is home to Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee.

House, Senate Agree On Health Budget

Mar 4, 2016
Florida Legislature
Florida House of Representatives

House and Senate budget chiefs reached agreement Thursday night on two areas of the state spending plan for the year beginning July 1, striking deals on funding for environmental programs and health care.

The Florida Legislature is moving forward with a bill that could restrict abortion access. But similar measures have been struck down in other states.

House Set To Defeat Senate Health Plan

Jun 5, 2015
Florida Legislature

Despite several changes made in recent days to assuage the concerns of the Republican majority, the Florida House remains poised to defeat a health-care expansion plan backed by a bipartisan group of senators.

More than two hours of questioning on the House floor Thursday gave little reason to believe that the bill (SB 2-A) would survive a vote scheduled for Friday. For all of its new provisions, House Republicans said, the so-called Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange, or FHIX, remains Medicaid expansion in disguise.

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Florida Legislature

 Top Republicans in the Florida House made an offer Thursday to try to bridge a budget gap with Senate Republicans, but it could still result in the state's hospitals getting significantly less than they are receiving now.

House leaders offered to trim back spending on tax cuts and education - in order to boost spending in the state's safety net health care program. The offer, however, would be unconnected to a push by the Senate to expand Medicaid or revamp an existing program that takes federal money for hospitals.

MyFloridaHouse.gov

Taxes on everything from cellphones to college textbooks and gun club memberships would either be cut or eliminated under a nearly $700 million package of tax breaks overwhelmingly approved by the Florida House on Thursday.

Panel Questions DCF on Slain Girl's Death

Feb 18, 2015

  A Florida House panel Tuesday heard details of a report on the death of 5-year-old Phoebe Jonchuck, whose father is accused of dropping her off a bridge into Tampa Bay.

The report found, in part, that abuse hotline counselors at the Department of Children and Families had ignored two calls in the last week of the girl's life. It also found that the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, which conducted a child protective investigation of the family in 2013, did not refer either Phoebe or her father, John Jonchuck, for services.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

Democratic candidates were the only ones to show at a legislative forum organized by the Tampa Bay Healthcare Collaborative. And each one said Florida needs to take federal funding to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

The participants included Lorena Grizzle (D) – House District 66 candidate; Steve Sarnoff (D) – House District 67 candidate; Scott Orsini (D) - House District 69 candidate; and Judithanne McLauchlan (D) – Senate District 22 candidate.

The two biggest health initiatives of the Florida House for 2014-15 both died at the hands of the Senate during the final 36 hours of this year's legislative session, which ended around 10:30 Friday night.

They were:

--Allowing nurse practitioners who have sufficient training to practice independently of physician supervision;

--Setting up a structure under the law for the growth of distance health care through  telemedicine or telehealth, terms used at various times during the session.

Where Things Stand in Capitol

Apr 28, 2014

Both the House and Senate meet today (Monday), the first day of the last week of the legislative session. Leaders of both chambers say they expect to end on time Friday.

A dramatic restructuring of the way Florida pays for crisis care in mental health -- one that pits hospitals against crisis stabilization units -- comes to a head today.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has scheduled a five-hour meeting Thursday beginning at 1 p.m. to handle two dozen matters, including SB 1726.  It would shift some of the money that now goes to the crisis units, called CSUs, to hospitals that are so-called "Baker Act receiving facilities" because they take in patients who qualify for involuntary treatment under a state law commonly called the Baker Act.

LaCrai Mitchell/State Impact Florida

The Florida Senate and the Florida House have passed their budgets for the 2014 legislative session.

From a Florida Senate news release, here is a look at the health funding in the Senate’s $74.9 billion budget:

Health and Human Services

E-mails to physicians, nurse practitioners, nursing-home administrators and pharmacists are flying around the state, urging them to focus on action in Tallahassee this week. Many committees will be webcast on www.thefloridachannel.org in real time, but if not, a video will be posted online a few hours later at the websites for the Florida House and Florida Senate.

Here is a partial list:

Monday:

12:30 p.m. Antibiotic resistance.

A bill that would create a pilot program for state employees to find the least-expensive doctors and hospitals when they need certain elective medical procedures was approved by the House Health and Human Services Committee on Thursday, the Florida Current reports.

Part of the plan to reform Florida’s child-welfare system would update the financial and accountability rules  for the organizations that provide adoption, foster care and case-management services, the

Carol Gentry/WUSF

Ernestine Marshall's every move is being watched: morning, noon and night. 

Motion-activated sensors are everywhere in her Tampa apartment: on the toilet, the front door, even the kitchen cabinet where she stores medications help manage her multiple sclerosis.

It's been a year since the 60-year-old former teacher volunteered to let her health insurance company track her daily activities. If she oversleeps or if she’s up and down during the night, sensors around the house or those tucked into her bed trigger a check-in call from a Humana nurse.

Sammy Mack / Health News Florida

A Republican state senator wants Florida to use federal Medicaid expansion money to help low-income Floridians purchase health insurance,  the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau reports.

State Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, filed a proposal Tuesday that is similar to the bill that won support in the state Senate last year, but died in the House. Garcia said that not taking the federal money is "irresponsible."

As a way to combat the state’s doctor shortage, lawmakers are working on measures to encourage telemedicine, the Florida Current reports. State Rep. Travis Cummings, R-Orange Park, plans to file a bill this week that would allow providers and insurers to negotiate compensation for telemedicine visits that rely on Internet and video technology. Two bills filed by other state representatives also want to control whether insurers can require face-to-face visits for payment, an issue called parity.

Two Florida lawmakers were in Washington, D.C. Wednesday morning to share their perspective on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  

Jose Oliva addressing a room.
Florida House of Representatives

State Rep. Jose Oliva, a 40-year-old Miami Republican who runs his family’s cigar company, will be chair of the new Select Committee on Health Care Workforce Innovation, House Speaker Will Weatherford announced Wednesday.

Tampa Bay Times

Representatives in the Florida House voted to keep low health insurance premiums for themselves next year, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Critics say it’s hypocritical for members of the House to pay just $8.34 a month for individual coverage, or $30 for a family policy, since the plan they wanted to offer to some of the state’s poorest uninsured would have cost $25 a month.