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Category archives for: Health & Society

As Pro-Choice Republicans See It: Abortion Decisions Don’t Belong on a Legislative Agenda

| April 26, 2015

Doctors and patients, not politicians, should determine the course of medical treatment, even when the treatment is abortion, writes Nancy Smith, a card-carrying member of the Republican Majority for Choice.

House and Senate Far Apart on Budget as Health Care For Poor Becomes Bargaining Chip

| April 25, 2015

The Florida House had made a significant concession to the Senate on hospital funding — but said it would only follow through if the upper chamber dropped insistence on using Medicaid expansion dollars to help lower-income Floridians purchase private insurance.

Florida Senate Votes 26-13 For Abortion Waiting period, Sending Bill to Gov. Scott

| April 24, 2015

Lawmakers earlier this week approved adding exceptions for victims of rape, incest, domestic violence or human trafficking to the bill. However, those victims could only get waivers of the 24-hour waiting period if they can produce police reports, restraining orders, medical records or other documentation.

Florida House Passes 24-Hour Abortion Waiting Period, Adding to Increasing Curbs

| April 22, 2015

The 24-year-old sponsor of the measure claims it “empowers” women, while opponents charged that it does the opposite, banning abortions for 24 hours.

Cage-Free Parenting: I Let My Boys Walk Home Alone. Go Ahead, Cuff Me.

| April 21, 2015

Until she heard about parents getting arrested for letting their children roam free, Catherine Robinson had never let her children walk home alone. That just changed.

Tennessee and Kansas Also Get Fed Warning to Florida: Expand Medicaid Or Risk Hospital Funds

| April 21, 2015

The federal government confirmed that it gave officials in those states the same message delivered to Texas and Florida about the risk to funding for so-called “uncompensated care pools” — Medicaid money that helps pay the cost of care for the uninsured.

Google Glass In The ER: Health Care Moves A Step Closer To Cheaper Telemedicine

| April 20, 2015

For a fraction of the cost of current telemedicine technology, Google Glass may give patients and doctors quicker, more accurate referrals to specialists, improving efficiency and care.

Rev. Beth Gardner, Leading Voice For Flagler’s Homeless, Is Leaving Bunnell’s Methodist Church After 15 Years

| April 19, 2015

Rev. Gardner, who will lead a parish in Lakeland starting in July, transformed the church into the county’s most progressive advocate for the homeless, housing a cold-weather shelter and keeping awareness about homelessness on the forefront of county and city agendas.

Gov. Bizarre: Scott Suing Federal Government Over One Pot of Money Even As He Rejects Another

| April 18, 2015

The lawsuit plays into a heated battle over a Senate plan to use $2.8 billion in Medicaid expansion funding to help lower-income Floridians purchase private health insurance. But the House and Scott — who once favored straight-up Medicaid expansion — oppose that idea.

Proposal Allowing Concealed Guns in Schools, Largely Opposed By Flagler Board, Dies

| April 16, 2015

Bills that would lead to guns at schools have traditionally faced an uphill challenge in the Senate, which is more moderate on such issues than the House.

Special Session Ahead for Legislature as Lawmakers Fail To Resolve Budget Clash

| April 15, 2015

Gov. Rick Scott’s administration, federal officials and House and Senate leaders have waged a public war over health dollars, which President Obama’s administration declared Tuesday are tied to an expansion of Medicaid.

Rep. Jason Brodeur: My Religious Freedom Bill Will Encourage More Adoptions

| April 14, 2015

Rep. Jason Brodeur, the Sanford Republican, sponsored the controversial bill that would allow adoption agencies to discriminate in their decisions on whom to place where, even on behalf of the state’s foster system. Brodeur defends his bill.

Geography as Destiny: Hospitals Leave Downtowns For More Prosperous Digs

| April 13, 2015

By moving to wealthier areas, hospitals can reduce the percent of uninsured and lower-paying Medicaid patients, but relocations often spark anger from those left behind, who worry about loss of jobs and of access to care, particularly for the poor.

A Bigger Public-Health Problem Than Hunger: The Global Obesity Threat

| April 11, 2015

The total economic impact of obesity is about $2 trillion a year, or 2.8% of world GDP – roughly equivalent to the economic damage caused by smoking or armed violence, war, and terrorism, according to new research by the McKinsey Global Institute.

Upon Further Review: Inside the Police Failure to Stop Darren Sharper’s Rape Spree

| April 11, 2015

Nine women reported being raped or drugged by Sharper to four different agencies before NFL safety Darren Sharper’s capture. His Sharper’s rampage of druggings and rapes could have been prevented, according to a two-month investigation by ProPublica and The New Orleans Advocate.

Will Florida Senate Recognize That Every Child Has the Right To Be Loved?

| April 10, 2015

The choice is not whether church-sponsored agencies have a right to practice their religion. Of course they do. The issue is whether they have a right to enforce their beliefs against others when acting as agents of the state. They do not.

Draft Lease With YMCA at Belle Terre Racquet Club May Be Ready in May, But First, a Trial

| April 10, 2015

The Flagler schoolo administration has made steady progress toward a lease agreement with the YMCA to take over the Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club, but a negligence lawsuit hanging over the club since 2012 may be heading for trial at the end of May or in early June.

Guess Who’s Rethinking Guns In Schools: Colleen Conklin May Not Oppose Designating Concealed Carriers, But She’s In a Minority

| April 9, 2015

Most Flagler County School Board members, the superintendent and the sheriff say school officers, not individuals carrying concealed weapons, can best address security needs in local schools. A bill making its way through the Legislature would allow school boards to designate employees or volunteers to carry concealed weapons.

Florida House Advances ‘Conscience Protection’ Bill That Discriminates Against Gay Adoptions

| April 8, 2015

Three hours of debate and numerous attempts to diminish the ability of private, religious adoption agencies to deny placement among gay couples failed as the bill now appears headed for approval Thursday.

The Solar Price Revolution: Why Renewable Energy Is Becoming Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels

| April 7, 2015

As some countries prepare to generate solar-powered electricity at half the cost of its production in the U.S., assumptions that generating electricity with natural gas or coal is less expensive or more efficient than solar power are rapidly becoming untenable.

In Reversal, Scott Opposes Expanding Poor’s Health Insurance and Opens $2.2 Billion Budget Hole

| April 6, 2015

Scott’s opposition means Florida would again forego $47 billion in federal aid over the next 10 years while fewer poor Floridians would have health coverage–and the state’s budget would lose $2.2 billion in current aid that federal officials will no longer provide to the state under its existing medicaid system, which falls short of federal standards.

Poll Finds Medical Pot Legalization Still Heavily Favored in Florida; Gov. Scott Still Not

| April 6, 2015

But when voters could cast ballots on both matters last fall, they rejected a constitutional amendment proposal to legalize pot, albeit by a small margin, and they re-elected Scott, albeit by an even smaller margin.

Florida Lawmakers OK Discriminating Against Gay Adoptions on “Religious” Grounds

| April 3, 2015

Despite warnings that Florida would follow Indiana into a controversy with statewide economic implications, the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved a bill that would allow private adoption agencies to refuse to place children with same-sex couples.

Guilty of Being Poor: Across the Nation, Courts Shake Down the Destitute

| April 2, 2015

From fines targeting the poor to civil asset forfeiture, courts have mounted odious means of seizing cash and property from people not charged with any crime and who can’t afford legal defense.

No Ice-Bucket Challenge Here: Staring Death Down, Ex-Teacher Fights ALS Her Way

| April 2, 2015

Mary Ann Dominessy Reese, 62, of Plantation Oaks in Flagler Beach, was diagnosed with ALS in December. She has since started an awareness campaign that spread blue and white ribbons to the 50 states, Canada and England, and been raising money through such fund-raisers as last Saturday’s dinner for 120 people in her community.

Another Pot Grow House Busted in Palm Coast As Critics and Lawmakers Press Legalization

| March 20, 2015

Some 28 marijuana plants were seized at a house at 17 Rocking Lane in Palm Coast. As the Sheriff’s Office announced the seizure and arrest of the resident at the house, Ray Strack, a former federal narcotics interdiction agent, was speaking on WNZF about the inanity of the war on marijuana.

Bill Targeting Transgenders in Public Bathrooms Clears 2nd House Committee, 7-4

| March 17, 2015

The 7-4 vote of the Florida House Government Operations Subcommittee included one dissent from a Republican, though as the bill advances, its chances of becoming law increase.

Plan to Extend Health Insurance to 800,000 Poor Floridians Crawls Against Steep Hurdles

| March 16, 2015

The new Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange Program, or FHIX, would assist Floridians not eligible for Medicaid in purchasing health benefits coverage and gaining access to health services.

24-Hour Waiting Period for Abortion Clears Florida House Panel in Partisan 9-4 Vote

| March 12, 2015

Under the bill, a woman seeking an abortion would be required to meet with a physician to get information and then wait at least 24 hours before the procedure could be performed.

Fearing Loss of $1 Billion in Federal Aid, Senate Again Considers Medicaid Expansion

| March 11, 2015

Florida’s budget faces an unexpected deficit. Accepting the federal Medicaid money could potentially offset the loss of the Low-Income Pool Funds. But the plan faces stiff opposition.

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