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Treatment Overkill: Unneeded Scans, Therapy and Surgery Only Add To Patients’ Ills

| October 28, 2017

Though ample evidence shows breast-cancer radiation treatment for many can be drastically cut down, less than half those eligible received it despite the additional cost and inconvenience.

Next Stations of the Cross In Obamacare’s Near-Death Experiences: Debate and Amendments

| July 26, 2017

Senators are limited to 20 hours of debate, following which numberless amendments may be introduced–but not debated. It may get messy and difficult to follow.

Secret Hospital Inspections Revealing Errors and Mishaps and May Become Public at Last

| April 22, 2017

The federal government has proposed requiring that accreditors release reports on the problems they find during hospital inspections. Right now, the reports are secret.

As Washington Piddles, Liberal California Forges Ahead With Universal Health Care Ideas

| April 10, 2017

Organized labor and two lawmakers are leading the charge for a single, government-financed program for everyone in the state. Another legislator wants to create a commission that would weigh the best options for a system to cover everyone.

GOP Plan Scraps Individual Mandate Only to Create New, 30% Penalty For Laggards

| March 23, 2017

The GOP approach is called a “continuous coverage” penalty. It increases premiums for people who buy insurance if they have gone 63 consecutive days without a policy during the past 12 months.

Senate Committee Kills Recovery Centers Palm Coast Opposes, But Approves Expanded Surgical Centers

| March 14, 2017

A Senate committee today killed a proposal to create the sort of “recovery care centers” Palm Coast government and Florida Hospital Flagler oppose, but it agreed to expanded ambulatory care centers.

Health Savings Accounts Gain GOP Favor as Obamacare Sub; Gimmickry May Hurt Most

| February 6, 2017

Expanding the use of such accounts, greatly favored by Wall Street, is part of almost every GOP replacement plan under consideration on Capitol Hill. But less well off people and the sick would not likely benefit.

From Women’s Ob-Gyn Rights to ER Cost Controls, 6 Items That Could Disappear With Obamacare Repeal

| January 12, 2017

Some of these Obamacare measures enjoy broad support and are taken for granted even though people often don’t realize they spring from the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans are working to repeal.

With Florida leading the Way, Obamacare Enrollment Jumps Despite Trump Threats

| December 22, 2016

Despite the Affordable Care Act’s rising prices, decreased insurer participation and a vigorous political threat to its survival, consumer enrollment for 2017 is outpacing last year’s.

How Trump’s Health Secretary Will Alter Policy from Obamacare to Abortion to Birth Control

| December 11, 2016

Tom Price, a Georgia physician who opposes the Affordable Care Act, abortion and funding for Planned Parenthood, among other things, could have a rapid impact without even a presidential order or an act of Congress.

Pyrrhic Vanishing: Democrats Unite, But What Happened To Medicare For All?

| July 18, 2016

Most health policy analysts — including those who are sympathetic to the idea — say moving from the current U.S. public-private hybrid health system to one fully funded by the government in one step is basically impossible. And that’s making a huge assumption that it could get through Congress.

Florida Insurers Requesting an Average 17.7% Rate Increase in Obamacare Plans for 2017

| May 31, 2016

While the requested increases for Florida vary from zero to 40 percent, all requested increases for silver plans are under 14 percent, and half are under 3 percent.

County Government’s Health Costs Take $1.5 Million Hit, Clouding Brighter Budget Outlook

| May 10, 2016

Property values are expected to improve by 4.5 percent, adding $2.5 million to county revenue absent tax-rate changes, but the county’s health costs are increasing dramatically, leaving county commissioners with difficult choices again.

Centra Urgent Care Center Opens on Palm Coast Parkway Under Florida Hospital Imprint

| March 2, 2016

Centra Care on Palm Coast Parkway is the latest urgent care clinic to open in the region as health care providers shift services away from emergency rooms when possible, to control costs. But Centra Care also helps channel patients to the Florida Hospital Flagler system.

Florida Senators Reject Weakening State’s Regulatory Power in Health Care Expansions

| February 17, 2016

The Senate on Wednesday listened to hospitals, nursing homes and hospice providers and killed a bill that would have weakened the “certificate of need” process that gives the state power to review and approval new health-care facilities.

At Florida Hospital Flagler, an Additional 32 Beds as Facility Grows Beyond Rural Stage

| February 15, 2016

The $15-million, 32-bed addition tips Florida Hospital Flagler past the 99-bed threshold, reducing its Medicare dollars by up to $12 million, but hospital officials see the expansion as meeting local needs.

Citing Abuse, Cigna Pulls Out of Florida Health Marketplace, Affecting 30,000 Clients

| October 19, 2015

Individuals can still enroll in a Cigna plan by seeing an insurance agent. But enrollment through the Marketplace, which begins Nov. 1, is the only way to obtain tax credits that subsidize the cost of premiums.

The Big Pharma Mafia:
Your Money Or Your Life

| September 29, 2015

Hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli’s decision to raise the price of the lifesaving drug Daraprim from $18 to $750 per pill is emblematic of America’s pharmaceutical industry, where price-gouging is the norm.

Proposals: Scrap Hospital Regulatory Process, Give Some Nurses More Power to Prescribe Drugs

| May 27, 2015

House Republicans filed six bills Wednesday that delve into hot-button issues such as getting rid of a regulatory process for new or expanded hospitals and allowing advanced-registered nurse practitioners and physician assistants to prescribe controlled substances.

As Gov. Scott Seeks Information For His Health Commission, Hospitals Signal He’s On His Own

| May 20, 2015

As Gov. Rick Scott’s newly created health-care commission prepares to meet Wednesday to begin sifting through data about hospital funding, the governor’s request for information has been met with hospitals essentially telling him to go look it up.

How Health Care Blew Up the 2015 Session

| May 9, 2015

Dramatic miscalculations and eagerness for showdown over health care derailed Florida lawmakers’ plans in the 2015 legislative session–impulses they must guard against if the special session is to go more smoothly.

Despite Obamacare Rules, Some Contraceptives May Still Require Co-Pay

| February 11, 2015

Even though an unplanned pregnancy would cost an insurer a lot more than the contraceptives to prevent it, some insurers still try to limit what they cover.

Mega Health Bill Favoring Nurse Practitioners, Trauma Centers and Drs. Without State License Clears House Panel

| April 10, 2014

The bill would protect private for-profit trauma centers, allow for independent practice for nurse practitioners and allow out-of-state doctors to participate in telehealth without a Florida license. The Florida Medical Association opposes the latter two.

Lawmaker Files Bill Favoring Trauma Centers Run by HCA, Gov. Scott’s Former Company

| February 27, 2014

The proposal, opposed by numerous Florida hospitals, would help the HCA health-care chain keep trauma centers open and could short-circuit a debate about how the Florida Department of Health determines where new trauma centers should be allowed to open.

School District, County’s Largest Employer, Starts Health Clinic Experiment With Florida Hospital Flagler

| October 30, 2013

The $288,000 annual contract with Florida Hospital Flagler’s Prompt Care Clinic will allow 1,400 of the school district’s 1,700 employees to seek out primary care at no cost, but with some restrictions. The district hopes it will lower the annual increases in premiums that employees and taxpayers have been bearing.

Death Toll From Preventable Hospital Mistakes Ranges Between 210,000 and 440,000

| September 23, 2013

A new study finds that preventable hospital mistakes that lead to patients’ death are far higher than previous estimates, making medical errors the third-leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease, which is the first, and cancer, which is second.

“Junk Health Insurance,” Favored by Retailers and Restaurants, Will Survive Obamacare

| August 26, 2013

Reform was supposed to do away with bare-bones health plans that could leave consumers who become seriously ill on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in medical costs. It won’t, as plans with limited benefits may continue to be offered by some large businesses, especially those with low-paid workers such as restaurant chains and retailers.

Rallying Cry at Heckles-Free Tampa Town Hall as Vote Approaches: “Defund Obamacare”

| August 22, 2013

Heritage Action for America, part of the hard-right Heritage Foundation, is hopscotching across the South, firing up the anti-Obamacare troops during Congress’ August recess, with a vote on defunding Obamacare scheduled for immediately after Labor Day.

Family Insurance Premiums Rise 4% for 2nd Year, Still More Than Double Inflation Rate

| August 20, 2013

With average family plan premium topping $16,000 for the first time, with workers paying on average $4,565, workers will feel an increased pinch: More than a third have annual deductibles of at least $1,000 before insurance kicks in, while wages continue to grow far more slowly than health insurance costs.

Small Businesses Self-Insure, Evading Obamacare Requirements, and Threatening It

| March 16, 2013

As more small employers avoid the health act’s requirements through self-coverage, small-business marketplaces intended to cover millions of Americans could break down and become unaffordable.

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