May 22, 2024
Abortion proposal on Florida's November ballot might not end legal fights about the issue

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Abortion proposal on Florida's November ballot might not end legal fights about the issue

| 4/9/2024

Abortion proposal on Florida's November ballot might not end legal fights about the issue

If Florida voters approve a November ballot measure that would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution, it likely would not end legal battles about the issue. At least that’s how three Florida Supreme Court justices see it. The three justices, who dissented last week from allowing the proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot, wrote opinions warning about legal fights that will result if the measure passes. They contended, in part, that wording in the proposal about issues such as “health” and “healthcare provider” are vague. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Publix just rolled out a new way to cut prescription costs. It involves a new card.

Publix and its more than 1,200 pharmacies have partnered with a California company to potentially help customers, those with and without insurance, to cut prescription drug costs on many commonly prescribed medications. GoodRx, a prescription drug savings card and app that customers can show at pharmacies nationwide to shave the price off prescription medications, also has a membership program that charges a monthly fee. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

New rule will let some Florida patients, visitors, employees opt out of mask wearing

As part of what Gov. Ron DeSantis has heralded as Florida's post-COVID era of "medical freedom," one of his health agencies is proposing a new rule that would allow some patients, visitors and health care workers to opt out of wearing masks. The Agency for Health Care Administration's rule, which follows a 2023 law called "Protection from Discrimination Based on Health Care Choices," will establish facial covering requirements and opt-outs. [Source: Tallahassee Democrat]

At a Florida psychiatric home of last resort, one woman works her “dream job”

As a girl, Barbara Lee knew she wanted to work with elderly people. She started as a housekeeper at at Florida's only all-psychiatric nursing home when she was 21, when it was called Jacaranda Manor, and watched the population change over the decades. Her work is bringing moments of joy to patients with severe psychiatric disorders. She insists it's her "dream job." [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida says undocumented immigrants' health care costs taxpayers. Does data back it up?

Florida officials blame undocumented immigrants for depleting over $500 million in taxpayer money for health care costs, but the state's own report doesn't exactly back up that claim. The state's financial estimate does not take into account how many undocumented immigrants actually pay their own medical bills and that they're not required to report their legal status to hospitals, meaning the true costs can't be quantified. While the report gives a figure of $566 million, it also says the real number could be anywhere between $0 and $2.6 billion. [Source: Tallahassee Democrat]


› BayCare to build its first hospital in Manatee County
BayCare Health System unveiled construction plans for a planned new $548 million hospital, its first in Manatee County. The 154-bed facility is planned for Moccasin Wallow Road in the fast-growing area north of the I-75 and I-275 intersection, putting it within reach of residents in southern Pinellas County.

› Central Florida leaders join push for Medicaid expansion on 2026 ballot
Central Florida politicians and community organizers joined with the “Florida Decides Healthcare” Campaign in Orlando on Thursday to push for putting Medicaid expansion on the 2026 ballot. The campaign, officially launched in February, is gathering signatures for a ballot initiative that would ask Floridians to decide whether to expand Medicaid coverage to adults ages 18 to 64 whose incomes are at or below 138% of the federal poverty level: $20,782 in 2024.

› Florida State University Business of Healthcare Summit yields calls for bold action from industry
Florida Blue President and CEO Pat Geraghty called on leaders from throughout the state and across the health care industry, starting with those at his own company, to “commit ourselves to making a change” and to enhance organizations’ ability to “deliver on the promise of improved quality, cost and access” of health care for all Floridians.

› Affordable Care Act enrollment jumped nearly 50% in Duval County, outpacing rest of state
Mayor Donna Deegan's promotion of the Affordable Care Act helped drive a big jump in sign-ups that saw nearly 50% more Duval County residents get that coverage for what's sometimes called Obamacare in this year's open enrollment period, a surge that was well ahead of growth statewide.

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