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SCOTUS throws partial victory at unions listen

06/30/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
Listen to this entire show: listen to this show

Tags: unions, healthcare, labor, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

Another Supreme Court ruling was something of a draw for unions. A group of home healthcare workers in Illinois argued they shouldn’t have to pay a cost sharing fee if they aren’t a member of the union, and the court agreed. But Unions dodged a bullet. Lisa Madigan is the attorney general for Illinois.

“Today’s decision from the court is a very narrow one. It does not change Illinois’ program. The court, in essence, ruled that home healthcare workers who choose not to join their union wil...

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Last minute glitches don't seem to be deterring Obamacare enrollment listen

03/31/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
Listen to this entire show: listen to this show

Tags: Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, healthcare, Navigators, Medicaid, kathy castor

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Despite some more glitches on healthcare.gov, turnout is high in Tampa on the final day to enroll in Obamacare. More than 30 people were already waiting in line by 10:30 a.m. Monday at Al Lopez Park to get help enrolling in private health insurance under the federal healthcare law. Most of those people, like Myrta Mayor, are hoping that their last minute enrollment can save them some money on coverage that is now required.

“The one that they’re offering at my job is very expensive - $753 ...

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Free dental care fair in Tampa rescues more than 1500 from pain listen

03/28/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Tags: dentist, dental care, healthcare, Tampa, Mission of Mercy

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As many as 2,000 people from across the state are receiving free dental care Friday and Saturday at the Florida State Fairgrounds. This is the state’s first Mission of Mercy where the goal of hundreds of dentists and dental hygienists is to get people who don’t have access to oral healthcare out of pain.

In a giant expo hall at the fairgrounds, several generators powered more than 100 dental chairs – all of them occupied by patients. The whirring of drills and suction hoses signaled to mor...

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Activists call on Republican FL Rep. Kathleen Peters to support Medicaid expansion listen

03/27/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Medicaid expansion, Kathleen Peters, Awake Pinellas, healthcare, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act

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It costs more for a person earning below poverty wages to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act than it does many middle class people. That problem would be solved if Florida lawmakers expanded the state’s Medicaid program. Activists protested the refusal of federal funding in front of Republican State Representative Kathleen Peters’ office in St. Pete Thursday.

Activists including Terrie Weeks hope they can persuade holdouts in the legislature to change their minds.

“Beca...

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Friday in Tampa: free dental care offers cleaner teeth and healthier bodies listen

03/24/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
Listen to this entire show: listen to this show

Tags: dental care, healthcare, Florida Dental Association, Mission of Mercy

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People in the Tampa Bay area can get free dental care this weekend at the Florida State Fairgrounds. This Friday and Saturday adults and some children can get things like teeth cleanings and extractions. Terry Buckenheimer is a Tampa dentist and the president of the Florida Dental Association’s Mission of Mercy.

“And then also, we’re going to provide names, addresses, there’ll be some people from our FQHCs here in Tampa and also they’re affiliated with the Department of Health and they’l...

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States with their own health insurance exchanges may be better off listen

10/31/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
Listen to this entire show: listen to this show

Tags: healthcare, healthcare.gov, Affordable Care Act, Kathleen Sebelius, Jodi Ray, Navigators, Obamacare

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Healthcare exchanges in states that established their own marketplaces seem to be holding up better than those states that chose to use the federally facilitated website that has been marred by problems since it opened one month ago. Nearly 200,000 New York residents have completed applications on the state’s exchange website.

Ron Pollack is the executive director of the group Families USA. During a conference call Thursday, he claimed states that have not es...

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Pinellas officials look to expand county health centers listen

10/29/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: Pinellas County Commission, healthcare, homeless, poverty

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The Pinellas County department of health and community services is recommending the county make some changes to healthcare programs to make preventative care more accessible in high poverty areas.

During a county commission workshop Tuesday agency head Gwendolyn Warren laid out plans that could use shuttered public schools in impoverished neighborhoods to provide comprehensive health services including dental, smoking cessation and mental health.

"It's to our advantage to have a medic...

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Patient advocacy groups slam Florida's largest nursing home provider for bad care listen

10/22/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: healthcare, nursing homes, Consulate, SEIU, patient care

Florida received a B-rating for nursing home care in the state, but one chain isn’t doing quite so hot. Consulate Health Care is the largest provider in the state of Florida. Angela Lusk with the Service Employee’s International Union says the company is falling behind state averages in almost every key factor of elderly care.

“Pressure ulcers are very painful sores that residents can get. They take a long time to heal and they can lead to other complications like skin and bone infection....

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Sebelius says problematic Health Insurance Marketplace website will be glitch-free soon listen

10/08/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
Listen to this entire show: listen to this show

Tags: healthcare, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services, Health Insurance Marketplace

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The website where consumers can enroll in federally subsidized health plans has been plagued by glitches since the Health Insurance Marketplace opened last week. During a panel discussion at the USF Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS) Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said the problems should be worked out soon.

“We want to take the site down only at the times when it’s the least traffic. So, it’s been at night. We’ve made a lot...

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Groups welcome Health Insurance Marketplace, bemoan Florida rejection of Medicaid expansion listen

10/02/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday

Tags: healthcare, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, Doctors for America, Medicaid expansion

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Health Insurance Marketplaces where consumers can shop for subsidized health plans opened Tuesday nationwide despite the partial government shutdown. About forty supporters of the law held signs during a press conference in downtown St. Pete’s North Straub Park Tuesday morning demanding that opponents of the president’s trademark law stop fighting it with partisan politics and expand Medicaid in state’s that have so far rejected it, including Florida.

“Florida has a very stingy Medicaid p...

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