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Health & Society
Category archives for: Health & Society

Insurers’ Latest Ploy: Shifting Costs to the Sick By Making Them Pay More For Drugs

| September 18, 2014

The Affordable Care Act is designed to forbid it, but health insurers are finding a new way to extract money from policy holders with pre-existing conditions–by steering them to more expensive drugs.

Assault Weapons Don’t Kill People.
Handguns Kill People.

| September 15, 2014

It turns out that big, scary military rifles don’t kill the vast majority of the 11,000 Americans murdered with guns each year. Little handguns do. Yet Democrats and anti-gun advocates keep focusing on renewing the defunct assault-weapons ban.

For or Against Medical Marijuana, Seven Ex-Supreme Court Justices Explain Why They Oppose Amendment 2

| September 14, 2014

Amendment 2, promoted as a compassionate effort to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, should be rejected – regardless of one’s position on the issue of medical marijuana, seven ex-Florida Supreme Court justices argue.

Blame The Victim, Sports Fans: It’s Going To Be An Exciting Season for Misogyny

| September 11, 2014

Following video showing Ray Rice slugging his then-fiancee, there were scores of comments along the lines of “She slapped him! He had every right to hit her,” and the bizarre “Don’t start a fight you don’t intend to finish!” Diane Roberts isn’t taking it.

Family Insurance Premiums Rise Modestly For 3rd Year, But Still Approach $17,000

| September 11, 2014

While both critics and supporters of the Affordable Care Act are likely to find fodder for their positions, the report portrays 2014 as a relatively stable year for employer coverage, with little change in the type of plans offered or their costs.

Tin Man Veto: Gov. Rick Scott’s 4-Year War on Legal Aid for the Poor

| September 9, 2014

Owing to Scott, Florida is one of only four states that don’t spare a penny either from appropriations or earmarked court fees for legal aid. New York provides $56.8 million. Even in Texas there’s $6.26 for every estimated person in need.

Bowing to Criticism, Florida Health Regulators Agree to Delay Legal Pot Distribution Rule

| September 7, 2014

Health regulators will almost certainly delay a rule that will eventually create the framework for the state’s new medical marijuana industry after an outcry from a legislative panel saying the proposed regulation went too far.

Vaccine-Deniers Aside, Flagler Schools Seek Parental Consent for Broad Flu-Shot Campaign

| September 5, 2014

Vaccine consent forms went out this week to all parents with children in Flagler schools, where the district is partnering with Healthy Schools, the for-profit company, to administer flu shots to students on Sept. 18.

Legislative Panel Joins Critics of Strict Proposals to Limit Legal Pot Access in Florida

| September 4, 2014

A 19-page letter from the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee to the Department of Health’s general counsel questions nearly every aspect of the proposed rule, beginning with who would be allowed to apply for one of five licenses to grow, manufacture and distribute a type of cannabis approved during this year’s legislative session.

Florida’s Obamacare Enrollment Projected To Rise to 1.1 Million by Next Year

| September 2, 2014

The number of Floridians enrolled in individual health plans under the Affordable Care Act in June was 866,485, with a 23 percent increase projected by 2015.

Do the Math: You Couldn’t Live On Minimum Wage

| August 27, 2014

Imagine living on $290 a week before taxes. It’s not a wage you can live on, Mark O’Brien, a minimum wage earner for a time recently, argues, challenging opponents of raising the minimum wage to try it for themselves.

In Florida and Elsewhere, Obamacare Still GOP’s Favored Bait Even as Repeal Talk Fades

| August 25, 2014

Rather than just calling for repeal, Republican candidates focus on arguments about how the law is hurting consumers, government budgets or the economy even as millions of Americans have gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Unemployment Down, Food Stamps Use Up, Pointing to Recovery’s Bane: Underemployment

| August 23, 2014

The overall U.S. unemployment rate has steadily declined since the recession officially ended in June 2009. But many Americans still are finding it hard to get by, even if they do have jobs. A key indicator of economic hardship—enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps—is higher in every state than it was five years ago, even though unemployment has dropped in every state during the same period.

Law Be Damned: Some Insurers Still Refuse to Provide Coverage for Contraceptives

| August 22, 2014

There’s not much leeway for employers and insurers in deciding whether they’ll cover contraceptives without charge and in determining which methods make the cut, yet that hasn’t stopped some from trying.

Federal Judge Rules Florida’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional, But Stays Decision

| August 21, 2014

It is the fifth court decision in the state finding against Florida’s ban, but the first federal-court decision, and the first that applies state-wide. Nevertheless, as in previous cases, the judge stayed the decision, granting time for this and other decisions to be appealed.

For the Pot:
Five Questions For John Morgan

| August 21, 2014

Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan is spearheading a move to pass a constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana in the state, putting millions of dollars of his own money and his considerable public-speaking skills behind it.

Lessons for Florida from A California Pot Tourist

| August 18, 2014

If Florida’s voters approve Amendment 2, our state will have an opportunity to implement a marijuana law that avoids heading down California’s cynical path, argues Karen Cyphers. It will be a challenge, but the reward of fostering an honest, quality health-care system is well worth the effort.

1 in 6 Big Businesses Planning to Offer “Junk” Health Insurance Below ACA Standards

| August 18, 2014

Many thought such low-benefit “skinny plans” would be history once the health law was implemented. Instead, 16 percent of large employers will offer lower-benefit coverage along with at least one health plan that does qualify under ACA standards.

Average Cost of Silver-Range Insurance Plans Will Decline in Florida Marketplace

| August 11, 2014

About 75 percent of Floridians live in areas where the second-cheapest silver premium will actually decline, said Tasha Bradley, a spokeswoman for the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

Warts and All, Obamacare Saved Me From Bankruptcy

| August 10, 2014

FlaglerLive Editor Pierre Tristam exposes his health care bills before and after Obamacare, and before and after cancer, to show how without the Affordable Care Act, he and his family would have face ruin.

How the NRA Treats Gun Owners Like Children

| August 9, 2014

The statistical risk of dying by gunshot increases dramatically when you possess a gun in your home. So does your spouse’s and child’s risk. It’s a health risk like unprotected sex. Doctors can ask about unprotected sex. Why not ask about guns?

Those Double-Digit Health Insurance Rate Hikes in Florida? Blame State GOP.

| August 7, 2014

Sen. Bill Nelson, once Florida’s insurance commissioner, reminds residents that it was the Republican state Legislature that stripped the office of insurance regulation of the authority to approve, modify or reject rate hikes by health insurance companies, thus leading to current, unacceptable rate hikes.

On Medical Pot, Palm Coast and Flagler Beach Governments Are Smoking the Wrong Stuff

| August 4, 2014

Flagler Beach’s actual and Palm Coast’s planned zoning restrictions on medical marijuana are wrong-headed, needlessly antagonistic toward medical pot users, and based on more misinformation than public expectations on medical marijuana.

Florida Blue Raising Premiums 17.6% for Exchange Policies as Obamacare Ire Spikes

| August 4, 2014

A dearth of younger and healthy enrollees and a greater-than-expected surge of people seeking expensive health services are factors driving up premiums. A new polls shows disapproval of Obamacare spiking in July.

Misleading TV Report Raises Overblown Fears About “Flesh-Eating” Bacteria on Beaches

| August 1, 2014

Flagler County Health Department Director Patrick Johnson and his staff have been fielding calls from tourists worried about reports of “flesh-eating” bacteria on local beaches. And they’ve been telling them to relax: the reports are misleading and outright false.

Sen. Sobel Calls for All Child Deaths, Not Just Those From Abuse, To Be Reported

| July 31, 2014

Florida just passed a law requiring the reporting of all child abuse deaths in an annual report. That’s not enough, Sen. Sobel says, proposing that all criminally-related child deaths, even in car wrecks, should be part of the report.

Backing Down From Stricter Rules, State Regulators Would Allow Mobile Pot Delivery

| July 30, 2014

Florida pot dispensers could truck their product to patients, under a revised rule proposed by health regulators in advance of a workshop Friday about the state’s move to a limited type of medical marijuana.

Following Flagler Beach’s Lead, Palm Coast Is Drafting Restrictions on Medical Pot Shops

| July 30, 2014

Floridians’ vote on Amendment 2, the proposal to legalize medical marijuana, is still four months away, but the Palm Coast City Council wants to prepare with an ordinance that would restrict dispensaries to commercial areas, though how that would differ from regular drug stores is unclear.

Briefing : Amendment 2, Medical Marijuana Legalization

| July 30, 2014

The Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, known as Amendment 2, is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Florida. The measure would legalize medical marijuana through an amendment to the state Constitution. Here’s a briefing, including the ballot summary and the full text of the amendment.

Floridians Support Legalization of Medical Marijuana By 9-1 Margin, Sustaining High

| July 28, 2014

The latest Quinnipiac University poll–the most authoritative poll on the matter–finds 88 percent of Floridians favoring medical marijuana, with 10 percent opposed, including 83 percent support from voters 65 and older and 95 percent support from voters 18 to 29 years old.

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