Welcome back to Diagnosis, a vertical that focuses on the crossroads of health care policy and politics.
All signs point to an on-time departure for the Florida Legislature this coming Friday as House and Senate budget negotiators worked over the weekend to put the finishing touches on a new spending plan. Yes, Lawmakers could be coming back soon in a Special Session to deal with congressional redistricting, but the door is closing for Legislators eager to enact health care policy for 2022.
This past week a sharply-divided Legislature sent Gov. Ron DeSantis a bill that would ban all abortions after 15 weeks — and he is expected to sign it.
And then there’s the Governor’s push for a bill that would prohibit medical boards from going after doctors for opinions they express, including through social media. DeSantis on Thursday reiterated his support for the bill, which has stalled in both chambers.
It’s bill-signing season!
However, an ever-important rule for the final days is that nothing is truly dead until Sine Die is declared, and the white handkerchiefs are dropped in the middle of the Fourth Floor Rotunda in the Capitol.
I welcome your feedback, questions, and, especially, your tips. You can email me at [email protected] or call me at 850-251-2317.
While the window of opportunity is closing, several other substantive health care issues remain in play. Let’s take a look at them.
That’s a lot of cash
Will a top priority of Senate President Wilton Simpson — a plan to help Moffitt Cancer Center with a significant expansion in Simpson’s home county — make it across the finish line?
Moffitt — a well-known cancer treatment and research center named after former House Speaker H. Lee Moffitt — has been pushing ahead on its plans to move into Pasco County for several years now. The organization acquired land in 2020, and then a year ago, the Pasco County Commission approved $25 million to support road connections and infrastructure.
Moffitt serves more than 68,000 patients a year — but officials say they anticipate having more than 100,000 patients by 2026. They say their current hospital is at or near capacity and that the space crunch could hamper recruitment efforts.
Can Wilton Simpson get Moffitt money over the finish line?
The organization wants to create what it calls a “global destination to live, work and cure center” in Pasco. They …….