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Appeals Court: Illegal Residents Entitled to Workers' Comp

July 4, 2011 - 6:00pm

After dropping out of school in his native Mexico, Luis Aragon crossed the U.S. border as an illegal immigrant at age 16 in search of work.

Aragon found jobs in Georgia before heading to Jacksonville, where he worked construction. But in September 2007, Aragon fell 30 feet off a roof on a job site, suffering serious injuries to his foot and arm.

That accident led to a legal fight that culminated last week with the First District Court of Appeal sending a clear message that illegal immigrants are entitled to workers compensation benefits in Florida.

No Injunction, Pension Requirement Begins

Report: The Bell May Be Tolling for Ma Bell

Progress Repairs May Cost Consumers

June 28, 2011 - 6:00pm

Progress Energy could seek to pass along hundreds of millions of dollars in extra costs to customers because of a massive repair project at a Crystal River nuclear plant.

Top Progress executives held a conference call with Wall Street analysts Tuesday, a day after filing documents with the Florida Public Service Commission and federal officials that outlined the companys decision to repair a containment building at the plant.

Weekly Roundup: The Education of Mr. Robinson

June 23, 2011 - 6:00pm

In naming Gerard Robinson as Floridas next education commissioner, the State Board of Education this week turned to someone with a compelling background --- and an affinity for school-choice programs.

The Board of Education unanimously voted Tuesday to appoint Robinson, who serves as secretary of education in Virginia. He will replace Eric Smith, who was pushed out of the commissioners job by Gov. Rick Scott.

AHCA Wants More Time on Medicaid Pilot

June 20, 2011 - 6:00pm

With a June 30 deadline looming, discussions about continuing Floridas Medicaid pilot program appear headed to overtime.

The Agency for Health Care Administration sent a letter to the federal government Monday seeking a 30-day extension of the pilot, as state and federal officials try to reach agreement on continuing the program for three more years.

Phil Williams, AHCAs assistant deputy secretary for Medicaid finance, said the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requested the letter. He said extra time is needed to fine tune details of the agreement.

Weekly Roundup: Worries -- Drug Test Problems, Granny Dumping

June 17, 2011 - 6:00pm

Florida health-care officials hit the road this week to hold hearings about the new Medicaid overhaul -- and got an earful about granny dumping and endangered mom-and-pop pharmacies.

The Agency for Health Care Administration, which held 10 hearings from Pensacola to Fort Myers, can do little about many of the objections. In passing the overhaul, lawmakers required that seniors enroll in managed-care plans and decided against giving special treatment to independent drug stores.

Scott Signs Medicaid Rewrite, Other Health Bills

June 2, 2011 - 6:00pm

Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday signed a landmark Medicaid overhaul that calls for shifting hundreds of thousands of low-income and elderly Floridians into managed-care plans.

Scotts signature on a two-bill package (HB 7107 and HB 7109) was not a surprise -- he has long pushed for transforming the Medicaid system.

Now, it will be up to the state to convince the federal government to go along. The state Agency for Health Care Administration is required to submit a proposal to federal Medicaid officials by Aug. 1 and is scheduled to start a flurry of public hearings June 10.

Gulf Power to Seek Rate Increase

May 26, 2011 - 6:00pm

Gulf Power Co. this summer plans to ask for a $95 million increase in base rates, arguing that the cost of supplying electricity to the Panhandle has jumped during the past decade.

The Pensacola-based utility filed a document this month with the state Public Service Commission that outlines the proposal.

If granted, the proposal would translate to a 21.5 percent increase over Gulfs 2010 base-rate revenues of $442 million -- though it is too early to know how such a hike would affect individual customers bills.

Regulators Question Insurers About Payouts on Life Policies

May 19, 2011 - 6:00pm

Regulators from Florida and other states hammered insurance executives Thursday with questions about whether companies are trying hard enough to pay life-insurance claims.

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty is leading a multistate probe that he said could involve more than $1 billion in money owed. Executives from MetLife and Nationwide insurance companies testified under oath during a hearing Thursday -- but McCarty said the probe involves all of the nations largest life insurers.

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