Tag Archives: Florida

Pediatricians Say Florida Hurt Sick Kids To Help Big GOP Donors

CNN has done a great investigative job on this.  Here it is in short:

Now we find out Florida is a state that puts politics and money ahead of proper care for suffering, disabled children, according to this excellent investigative report. It’s because of extremely disproportionate donations to the Florida state GOP coffers by the medical insurance companies, as compared to their donations into other states’ GOP coffers.

A professionally-designed, approved questionnaire was used as a screening tool inappropriately to “filter out” children from the special Medicaid program which catered to those children.

Despite protestations from pediatricians,

“In the spring and summer of 2015, the state switched more than 13,000 children out of a highly respected program called Children’s Medical Services, or CMS, a part of Florida Medicaid. Children on this plan have serious health problems including birth defects, heart disease, diabetes and blindness.”

“Nearly half of all children in Florida, are on Medicaid, which has several types of insurance plans. The state switched more than 13,000 children into new plans, many of which did not have the same participating providers that treated these special kids.”

And so, too many of these kids did not get the special medical and surgical treatment they required, due to doctors in the new plans not having the needed additional education and/or experience or were not listed as providers.

“But some Florida pediatricians worry about children with special health care needs who, two years later, are still off the program.  The doctors aren’t just worried; they’re angry.”
  • The data analysis the state used to justify switching the children is “inaccurate” and “bizarre,” according to the researcher who wrote the software used in that analysis.
  • The screening tool the state used to select which children would be kicked off the program has been called “completely invalid” and “a perversion of science” by top experts in children with special health care needs.
  • In fall 2015, a state administrative law judge ruled that the Department of Health should stop using the screening tool because it was unlawful. However, even after the judge issued his decision, the department didn’t automatically re-enroll the children or even reach out to the families directly to let them know that re-enrollment was a possibility.

“These are the sickest and most vulnerable kids, and (changing their insurance) can mean life or death for them,” said Joan Alker, executive director of the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University. “This is really very troubling.”

Six pediatricians from across Florida gathered to tell CNN their concerns about children losing CMS coverage. They accuse the state of hurting sick kids to help big GOP donors.

Dr. Rishi Agrawal, an associate professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, agreed, adding that Florida should have more carefully considered how the insurance switch would affect the children’s health care.  “The process in Florida was particularly abrupt and poorly executed,” he said.
“It was a scam job,” added Dr. Nancy Wright, a pediatric endocrinologist in Tallahassee who said that dozens of her patients with diabetes were removed from the program.”
[ Header image from http://www.freewebheaders.com ]
[ Photos from http://www.cnn.com ]
Advertisements

Florida Medical Marijuana Update

SOUTH FLORIDA WILL HAVE LOTS OF CERTIFIED DOCTORS WHO WILL BE ABLE TO PRESCRIBE MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Taken from Sun-Sentinel:

Hundreds of doctors in Florida are now certified since June 16th, who are able to  recommend medical marijuana for patients, and one of the biggest concentrations is in South Florida.

The state is moving forward to implement a constitutional amendment approved by voters; however, patients in some parts of the state have no access and insurance does not cover marijuana, so poorer patients could be priced out of the market.

  • State lawmakers eliminated the original 90 day waiting period to get medical marijuana;
  • There are now 957 doctors in Florida qualified to recommend medical marijuana, with 357 of them in South Florida;
  • Monroe county has the most certified doctors, with one for every 8,208 residents in the county;
  • Of Florida’s 30 largest cities, Boca Raton has the state’s highest per capita number of certified doctors;
  • Doctors “recommend” marijuana rather than “prescribe” it, because it is a federally-controlled substance.

HOW CAN I GET IT?

Patients must have a qualifying ailment.  Those include cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, ALS, Crohn’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), or “other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class,” per the amendment’s language.

To find a local doctor, go to http://SunSentinel.com/marijuanadoctors

You can also go to Floridahealth.gov, or call the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use at 850-245-4657.

Patients can receive a 70-day supply at a time.  When that is exhausted, they must get another recommendation, which can be phoned in.  After 30 weeks, patients must once again see their doctor in person.

A typical in-person visit costs about $250.  Patients must also pay a $75 fee for their medical marijuana card; then, there’s the cost of the marijuana which ranges from about $100 to $200 for a 70-day supply.

At his Boca Raton clinic, one doctor treats about 50 patients.  He has used the law’s “other debilitating medical conditions” provission to prescribe (recommend) marijuana for auto-immune diseases similar to Crohn’s, severe arthritis and chronic pain from nervous system damage.

A photo ID is required on the card in order to be placed on the state registry, and there has been a steady increase in the volume of applications since Amendment 2 went into effect.

There are now 12 growers and there will be 5 more added in October.  They agree they have enough capacity to supply patient demand.

 

[ Header image from http://www.freewebheaders.com ]

[ Image from bingdotcom ]

I Was A Homeless Person

…for three days in 1990!

Today (September 28th, 2016) is the 26th anniversary of my official residency as a Floridian.  Three days before, on September 25th, 1990, I gave up my citizenship as a legal resident of the State of New York, as I signed on the dotted line to sell my house.

It was a big, new adventure; one which held an unknown future for my then husband, Dan, myself and his Mom.  That’s what I called it, as we drove into Delaware on US I-95.  “A new adventure,” I announced to Mom.  I felt excited and positive.  Little did I know, as we settled into our first motel stay and I got my first mosquito bites which were of major proportions, what was in store for our future.

We were a caravan of two cars and were “attached” by a CB system that Dan rigged up.  It was very basic, but served the purpose in notifying when we intended to stop at a service area.  Dan led the way in his car.

I followed, with Mom in my back seat.  She was 86, full of trepidation; full of trepidation, because we couldn’t leave her in Long Beach.  She had no one there on whom she could depend if she needed help.  Friends had moved away to be near their kids, or died.  Nothing was left there for her.  She really didn’t want to leave, but there was no other choice.

Mom was very comfortable what with pillows and blanket to insure her comfort. She was of small stature and she fit right in on the bench seat of my 1986 Ford Granada – turbo engine, of course.  Ha ha.

We were making very good time.  I had arranged for motel stops and the next one was located in Georgia.  When we got there, it was only  3:00pm, and we decided that it was too early and had the manager call ahead to another one in St. Augustine, Florida.

We lost all the time we made before that motel stop in Georgia.  We got caught up in the Jacksonville rush hour traffic.  What a bummer!

Mom was very tired after the two days’ travel, so she just wanted to rest when we arrived in St. Augustine.  We decided that we would bring her back some food, which we did after enjoying our supper in a casual restaurant.

st-aug-1st-aug-2st-aug-3

We had visited that city previously, some years before, and found ourselves wandering about, and visited some of our favorite places.  It is such a quaint, old city, and it was a pleasure to stretch our legs and feet over cobble stones!

After an exhausted sleep in St. Augustine, and after five more hours of driving, we finally arrived at our first destination at Forest Trace in Broward county.  It had opened only a year before; it was beautiful (we had visited it a couple of months earlier).  Mom was settled in at her apartment:  she was warmly welcomed by the staff, and made to feel at ease.  Her rented furniture was in place, so she was able to rest after the long trip.

forest-2

At the same time we had made arrangements for Mom’s apartment, we made arrangements for an apartment in a nearby apartment complex for ourselves.  Our rented furniture had been delivered in our apartment, overseen by the complex office manager.

All our furniture and Mom’s were sold in New York.  This was really a new start for us all!

It was an odd feeling I had, knowing I didn’t have a place where I could call “home.”  I had a destination, but those three days had me feeling “displaced.”  And, in another way, it was a free feeling because during those days, I had no responsibilities.  No tethers.  It was peculiar, but, yes, exciting.

Everything went smoothly.  That was a good feeling.  The next day, we went to the court house, and signed a “Declaration of Domicile.”  We were no longer HOMELESS!

[Images from bingdotcom]

[ Header image from http://www.freewebheaders.com ]

Save

A Group of White Ibises Had a Meeting…

 

…in my backyard.

a gaggle of white ibises

a gaggle of white ibises 2

Ibises are considered endangered, so it is a real treat to see them on occasion.  Sometimes, I see them gathered in the middle of the street, clacking away to each other while making a decision as to where they want to fly to next.  As I drive down the street, I stop and wait for them to make up their minds.

If you would like to see great photos of other kinds of Ibises (there are many subspecies of various colors), click on this link.

[ Header image from http://www.freewebheaders.com ]

Meet Mr. Great Blue Heron

 

The most beautiful of all the large tropical birds makes his appearance occasionally along the edge of the lake behind my house.  I was so excited to be able to take these latest photos through my bedroom window yesterday morning.

great blue heron

great blue heron 2

great blue heron 3

great blue heron 5

great blue heron 6

They are poetry in motion.  They are very graceful, given their size, and they walk with a regal gait.  You can’t help to take notice when these birds appear.

 

[ Header image from http://www.freewebheaders.com ]

 

A Florida Poll On Medical Marijuana

According to a poll, reported on Johnny Green’s blog, “The Weed Blog,” there is enough Florida voters (with wiggle room), that will make our quest a reality.

fix

This is exciting news, and let’s hope the figures don’t lie, and we will finally see all the hard work come to fruition!

Please read:

Latest Poll Shows 65% Support For 2016 Florida Medical Marijuana Initiative

 

Header image from http://www.freewebheaders.com

Gallery

Patches Loves To Sunbathe

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Originally posted on Pussy Cats 3:
The patio is very sunny, since it faces south.  Patches is the only one of the three who likes to sunbathe, and the patio is perfect. She’s feeling good right now, “soaking up” those UV…

The Bluejay Paid A Surprise Visit

 

I was surprised to see this Bluejay:  I don’t think I saw one here – it’s quite far south for this bird.  Now that I think about it, I did hear something about the coming winter being quite cold – colder than in the past.  Will the appearance of the Lonesome Dove (in the last post) and this Bluejay prove that forecast to be correct?  We will see.

first sighting 6

I didn't wake Rusty to take a look at the Bluejay. I won't tell him what he missed!

I didn’t wake Rusty to take a look at the Bluejay. I won’t tell him what he missed!

I was quite excited to catch the silhouette of the Bluejay on the Robellini Palm tree.

I was quite excited to catch the silhouette of the Bluejay on the Robellini Palm tree.

[ Header image from http://www.freewebheaders.com ]

Dog Racing in Florida

Information about dog racing in the city of Miami and other parts of the state of Florida. Approximately thirty percent of the greyhound racing track in the United States are located in the state of Florida.”

The above quote prefaces the list of dog racing events and activities in the Miami area:  racing tracks and associations, etc.  Included in the list is a link to a website for the Florida Greyhound Association which represents breeders, owners, kennel operators, etc. and they are represented by a lobbying group in Tallahassee.

This is what happens when things go right.

This is what happens when things go right.

In fairness, there are some tracks that do show they care about the dogs.

This is what happens when things go wrong.

This is what happens when things go wrong.

On the other side of the coin, is a coalition of animal advocates, which just recently announced that it’s forming a political action committee called, “Committee to Protect Dogs,” which has as its purpose, to place on the ballot, reforms and a phasing out of greyhound racing in Florida.

There is also an advocacy group called, “Grey2K USA.”

“Greyhound racing in [Florida] is regulated by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.  In May 2013, GREY2K USA lobbied successfully for an animal welfare rule that contained several greyhound provisions and required that all greyhound deaths that occur at track facilities be reported.  Florida remains one of two states, along with Alabama, where greyhound injury reporting is not mandated.”

In today’s Sun-Sentinel, reporter Dan Sweeney posted his article, “Tougher Rules Sought For Racing Industry.”  The advocacy groups are slowly, surely, lobbying for better racing conditions and better holdings areas, and for the reporting of not only deaths, but also for injuries that befall these mistreated dogs.  Treating injuries means expenditures; killing the injured dogs is a viable option with some owners and trainers.

The best fulfillment of the advocacy would be for the dog racing to end; however, given the ingrained mentality of gambling and racing in general, here in Florida, this is not likely for the time being.  The gambling and racing enthusiasts and the tourism trade probably would not make it doable at this time.  The only possibility, as I see it right now, is for better and humane treatment, until there is a turnaround, and the dog racing institution will be closed down.

[Dog racing images are from bingdotcom]

[ Header image from http://www.freewebheaders.com ]

 

 

Cannabis And Opioids From Canada To HHS To Florida

Canada seems to be progressive where cannabis is concerned; whereas, Florida is trying very hard(?) to get out of the dark ages – maybe not hard enough, in my estimation.  And in between, we have our Health and Human Services (HHS).

pot-708x350@2x

The Weed Blog, so aptly managed by Johnny Green, is a wealth of current informative articles about cannabis, as well as about cannabis books, testing, growing, recipes and strain reviews.

The article that recently caught my eye was “Canadian Researchers: Use Medical Marijuana Instead of Opioids For Neuropathic Pain.”  In this blog post, Johnny states:

Using opiods for pain is a hard thing for many people. Sure, the painkillers provide temporary relief from pain, but the side effects can be horrific. They tear up your organs, and often times lead to a level of addiction that ruins lives. If only there was another medicine out there that was effective that didn’t come with all of the problems.

And, he goes on to say:

Medical marijuana is a proven form of treatment for pain, specifically neuropathic pain.

Recently researchers in Canada started pushing for Canadian doctors to substitute opioid based painkillers [with] medical marijuana.

Now, doesn’t that make sense?  Thanks, Johnny.

If anyone is interested in knowing about some of the possibly addictive prescription drugs that medical marijuana could replace, click on this link.

In contrast, our own HHS, under the “leadership” of Sylvia Burwell, is “Taking New Steps To Combat Opioid Use Disorder.”  In Secretary Burwell’s first sentence she states:

Blair [Hubbard] fought back from an addiction to heroin and prescription opioids that nearly took her life.

And Burwell goes on to say:

Blair struggled for many years with her addiction, and today, families and communities across our nation are struggling. And too many Americans who have watched a friend or loved one struggle with opioid use disorder have witnessed the toll of this epidemic. [disorder?]

OK, Blair was addicted to heroin.  That’s one thing.  We don’t know which came first but, the point is, she was also addicted to opioids.  Prescriptions were obtained from doctors who kept prescribing ad infinitum, until she was at risk of being  “overdosed.”

Of course, now, if someone is at risk of being  “overdosed” on opioids, there is help!  A fantastic solution:  Another prescription is available for a drug called “naloxone.”

Secretary Burwell informs us that:

A drug called naloxone has been proven to reverse opioid overdose, and save lives.

Naloxone could be a dangerous drug itself.  There are caveats for its use.  Click here to find out about it.

This whole thing is so ridiculous, that I’m not going to continue talking about opioids and her anymore.  In my mind, she is a total “negative.”  This is “Sunshinebright blog” and I refuse to be negative.

Now, about Florida:

The medical marijuana law that was passed in 2014 has been in a state of flux.  The Florida State Legislature ended their session in the Spring without any further action in that regard.  It’s in the hands of the Florida State Supreme Court.

Perhaps and hopefully, in the 2016 election, we will be able to pass a Constitutional Amendment for Medical Marijuana.  Supporters of the Amendment are working hard – collecting petitions and money – to make sure it will be on the ballot next year.  The law that is now languishing is probably going to continue in that position forever.  Just sayin’.

If you live in Florida, and haven’t yet signed the petition to put the Medical Marijuana Amendment on the 2016 ballot, click here to download and print the blank petition from a pdf file.  Instructions about where to mail it are on the document.

Ending this post with a positive attitude:

“Smile, even if you don’t feel like it, and your world will appear brighter.”

[ Header image is from http://www.freewebheaders.com ]