PNS Daily Newscast - June 1, 2020 

Protests over Floyd killing go global while U.S. demonstrations focus on a number of recent victim's of alleged lethal police misconduct.

2020Talks - June 1, 2020 

Protests continued over the weekend, with police using excessive force against demonstrators. Former VP Joe Biden urged against violence.

Groups Ask Crist and Lawmakers to Implement Health Reform

August 12, 2010

JUPITER, Fla.- Thirty-four Florida organizations are calling on Gov. Crist and the legislature to step up to the plate and form a commission to implement the new federal health care law, the Affordable Care Act. Even though it is a national law, the states must make decisions about whether and how to implement it.

Laura Goodhue, executive director of Florida Chain, one of the groups, says by ignoring it, the state stands to lose billions in federal dollars over the next 10 years to other states that have already applied for grant money the new law provides.

"Twenty-one other states have formed some form of commission or task force. Florida just needs to step up to the plate and do that, too, just so we can have a stronger health care system and take advantage of these opportunities."

Dr. Mona Mangat, regional director for Doctors for America and an allergist, sees first-hand the effects the system she calls "broken" have on the lives of Floridians. She says it is critical that health care reform laws be implemented.

"The lives of Floridians are at risk. We will continue to have patients who can't have care because they have pre-existing conditions. We will continue to have uninsured who can't get care. It seems to me to be a political risk, and what they're risking is the lives and health of Floridians."

Attorney General McCollum has spearheaded a lawsuit trying to prevent implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Florida, calling it unconstitutional. But Goodhue says even if he wins, many of the federal law's benefits to Floridians would still be in effect, and the state needs to take action.

"A mother who can't get a health insurance policy because their child has a pre-existing condition will now be able to get that policy; seniors who are going to get a prescription rebate will still be getting that. Those things are still going to happen, even if they win this lawsuit, and the state needs to start preparing."

Goodhue points out that the law provides funding to train health care professionals, provide preventive care and create "medical homes" to administer Medicaid. She says time is running out to receive some of the benefits, such as funding for consumer assistance offices to help people navigate the new law and funding to set up new health insurance exchanges that she says will increase competition among insurance companies. Both have September application deadlines.

Gina Presson , Public News Service - FL