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Five Things To Know for Friday's Legislative Session

It's a mostly quiet Friday at the Capitol, with the exception being a House panel's examination of CorcoranCare.

The House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to debate HB 7169, which aims to help a segment of Florida's 1.1 million uninsured get health insurance. The plan, advanced by Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Land O' Lakes, rejects federal assistance and offers state subsidies to certain individuals to get private health insurance. The House says its proposal, which is not favored by Gov. Rick Scott, will help cover 130,000 people by 2023 at a cost to state taxpayers of $2 billion.

Leaders carved out some time for budget negotiations. The House and Senate decided on Thursday how much money will go to different areas in the budget, such as education, criminal justice, transportation and economic development. Now they have to drill down and agree on how to spend it.

Looking for a good time? State economists will meet to determine the fiscal impact of a few bills, including Gov. Rick Scott's push to eliminate sales taxes on manufacturing equipment (HB 391/SB 518) and another about county Medicaid contributions (HB 7156).

There's also the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Earth Day celebration at the Capitol. (Okay, we're done.)

- Katie Sanders (Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau)


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No More Rick Scott

Until Wednesday, Scott had been the poster child among GOP governors who said they wouldn’t participate. Before he was elected Florida’s governor in the Tea Party wave of 2010, Scott was best known for running the giant for-profit hospital chain known as Columbia/HCA, now known as HCA Holdings (HCA).

When he was chief executive officer, Columbia became the center of a nationwide federal health fraud investigation in the mid-1990s, before settling for $1.7 billion over allegations the chain of hospitals fraudulently billed Medicare and other health programs. Scott eventually resigned under intense board pressure in 1997 as the investigation swirled around him.

Columbia today remains among the nation’s large investor-owned hospital chains including Tenet Healthcare (THC), Health Management Associates (HMA) and Vanguard Health Systems (VHS).


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