Rick Scott

Florida officials are callous and secretive, willing to keep information from citizens that could save their lives, according to the Obama administration's top health official.  Meanwhile, those same officials accuse the administration of placing the public's safety at risk.

J Pat Carter / Associated Press

After massive rainfall this summer sent heavily polluted Lake Okeechobee to historic levels, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had to decide whether to risk that the 143-mile dike would hold -- knowing several small communities in the water’s path would be wiped out if it broke -- or devastate several estuaries and their wildlife.

State Cabinet officials expressed concern Tuesday that the federal government's "navigator" plan would place Floridians' personal information in danger. They urged citizens to use state-licensed insurance agents to get help deciding which is the best insurance plan when the federal online Marketplace opens Oct. 1.

Gov. Rick Scott said he fears that the federal government wants to amass a huge database of personal information on citizens' health.  He said he's worried that the navigators will turn over information for that database.

Associated Press

Members of the all-Republican Florida Cabinet -- Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater -- have approved disclosure forms that insurance companies will need to send out to policyholders if their premiums will be affected by the federal Affordable Care Act, the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau reports.

On Wednesday, White House officials pointed out several ways that Floridians will benefit from Obamacare as part of an effort to convince the Florida Legislature to accept federal money to expand Medicaid coverage, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Kathleen McGrory / Miami Herald

The Dream Defenders, who have vowed to stay outside Gov. Rick Scott’s office until he calls the legislature to convene a special session, met with Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters Monday, the Miami Herald reports. The protesters want lawmakers to enact what they’re calling the Trayvon Martin Civil Rights Act, to repeal Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law.  

Florida officials say they’re taking steps to tighten security for the state’s prescription drug database after State Attorney C.J. Larizza released the prescription information of 3,300 people in a drug trafficking case, the Palm Beach Post reports. Law enforcement officials charged only six people in the sting, but their search of the database yielded private records of thousands of individuals who were unrelated to the case.

Gov. Rick Scott has announced the appointments of three new members of the Florida Board of Medicine. They are:

Gov. Rick Scott, once one of the nation’s most vociferous opponents of the Affordable Care Act,  captured national headlines in February when he changed his tune; he urged the Florida Legislature to use the law’s Medicaid expansion funds to cover the uninsured. That didn’t happen. Now he appears to have changed his position -- or at least his message -- again, the Associated Press reports.

Florida Current

Gov. Rick Scott says that anyone who makes a living from taxpayers should be drug-free and prove it with random urinalysis. But a federal judge in Miami placed Scott’s order on hold, and now an appeals panel has issued an opinion that Scott probably won’t like. 

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, released a letter to Gov. Rick Scott saying the bill that suspends Florida from setting health insurance rates for two years is “unbelievable and unconscionable.”  

Dr. John Armstrong will continue to lead the Department of Health, thanks to a reappointment by Gov. Rick Scott. As the Associated Press reports, Florida Senators, particularly state Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, wanted Armstrong out. 

Communications Office / Gov. Rick Scott

Gov. Rick Scott has approved an increase in funding for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities to help about 750 people who are on the the waiting list for the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Medicaid waiver.

There are about 22,000 people on the waiting list.

At the last minute, lawmakers in the Florida Legislature agreed to provide $65 million in extra funding to help hospitals as they transition to a new formula for Medicaid payments, the Miami Herald reports. But now safety-net hospitals say they’re worried Gov. Rick Scott could veto that part of the budget. 

After getting no traction with the federal appeals court in Atlanta, Gov. Rick Scott says he intends to take drug-testing for welfare applicants all the way to the top, to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Palm Beach Post reports.  

An editorial in the Naples Daily News says Gov. Rick Scott is headed in the right direction with his proposal on more residency slots to train doctors. Now the Florida Legislature needs to do the right thing and approve the money to actually do it.

  

Miami Herald

Gov. Rick Scott’s decision to leave mental-health spending where it stands after $24 million in cuts last year troubles advocates for patients, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. Scott has proposed a budget of $722.7 million for mental health.

 

The $74.2 billion state budget recommended by Gov. Rick Scott includes funding for the mandatory parts of the Affordable Care Act and bonuses for state employees, but not the optional Medicaid expansion, the Palm Beach Post reports.
 

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.

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