Policy Advisory Committee Meeting – 1/3

Health Care was the topic at last week’s Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting. Committee members had a robust discussion with Chamber member Hospital representatives regarding the 2019 Session.

House leadership has made it clear that expanded access to health care is a priority – a shared goal by many in the health care arena. However, ideologies differ – especially between the Florida House and Senate – on the policies needed to achieve increased access and address health care costs impacting Floridians and the state’s budget.

Recognizing these challenges and the health care landscape heading into the 2019 session, our Policy Advisory Committee discussed the following issues that may come up during session:

  • Medicaid Levels: The recurring cuts to Medicaid rates continue to hurt state safety-net hospitals. Also, the statewide Medicaid enrollment continues to fall (common during a strong economy), the hospital inpatient Medicaid spending by the State continues to decrease along with it. In short, hospitals need to emphasize that the State leave the Medicaid rates alone, if not increase them given that the current rates don’t cover anything more than 60% of hospital costs on average.
  • Certificate of Need: Florida relies on a Certificate of Need (CON) process to regulate the expansion of health care facilities to avoid the duplication of costly medical services and was supported by the Hospital members in attendance at our advisory meeting. CON requires health care systems to apply for state approval before establishing new or expanded services. Once again, there are anticipated efforts to repeal the CON process.
  • 24 Hour Ambulatory Surgery Center ASC Stays: Would allow patients, except children under 18, to stay past midnight in an ASC. This has been opposed by the Florida Hospital Association, arguing that the legislation would lower patient safety and quality of care standards.
  • Advanced Birthing Centers: This would create a new licensure program within AHCA to be known as advanced birth centers (ABCs). Health providers in ABCs would be allowed to perform outpatient cesarean section surgeries and administer anesthesia to women expected to have low-risk deliveries. There are little safety standards or oversight regulations included in past legislation.  There are a lot of patient safety concerns associated with this bill.

The Chamber supports reducing the cost of health insurance to the business community by increasing access to health insurance for all Floridians and legislation that gives our health care providers the infrastructure and regulatory environment needed to best serve our community. We will monitor the issues above as we work through health care policy at all levels of government.

The Chamber’s Policy Advisory Committee meets on the first Thursday of each month and is open to all members. If you’re interested in serving on the PAC please email klopez@tampachamber.com.

Chamber members visit Washington D.C.

Last week, members of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with senior leadership from the Department of Transportation, the White House, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as well as members of the Florida Congressional delegation. Members were able to discuss legislative priorities that are important to the Tampa Bay business community including transportation, workforce development, business & economic development, military & defense, and healthcare.

Policy & Transportation Digest

Tell the Mayor what you think is important

Mayor Bob Buckhorn wants to hear from the community about what they think is important for the future of the City of Tampa and its residents.

How do autonomous cars understand the road?

On the Alphabet campus, test tracks are being developed to help advance driverless car technology.

Colorado uses driverless truck to aid road crews

Last week in Denver, the first driverless truck was used as a type of escort to help protect road crews.

Upcoming event:

Professional Development Speaker Series III Engaging Young Professionals in the Political Process
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
5:30pm – 7:00pm
Tampa Old City Hall
315 East Kennedy Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33602

As things are changing in Tallahassee, Washington D.C. and here in Hillsborough County, the Tampa Chamber is watching those issues that are important to the community and your business.

Here is some of what we are watching:

  • DOT budget
  • Infrastructure Plan
  • Possible BRAC
  • Federal budget
  • Proposed Federal Tax Plan
  • Health Care
  • Medical Marijuana and what that means to Tampa Bay
  • Premium Transit Study
  • Tampa Bay Next

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Policy & Transportation Digest

President announces new policy on travel to Cuba

Today, President Trump announced changes in the rules that allows Americans to travel to Cuba.  The new restriction reverse some of the changes made by President Obama.

Florida House Speaker talks about schools and local government in Tampa

House Speaker Richard Corcoran was in Tampa today to talk with Tampa Bay residents about the 2017 Legislative Session including the controversial K-12 legislation and bills that limited the scope of local government.

As things are changing in Tallahassee, Washington D.C. and here in Hillsborough County, the Tampa Chamber is watching those issues that are important to the community and your business.

Here is some of what we are watching:

  • Boarder Adjustment Tax issue
  • Federal budget
  • Proposed Federal Tax Plan
  • Possible changes to the Affordable Health Care Act
  • Possible changes with the relations between the U.S. and Cuba
  • Medical Marijuana and what that means to Tampa Bay
  • Premium Transit Study
  • Regional MPO

Policy & Transportation Digest

Governor Rick Scott announces budget deal

Governor Scott agrees to sign the $82.4 billion state budget after reaching deal with Corcoran, Negron

Changes in regulations on travel to Cuba could come soon

Insiders believe  President Trump may soon make changes to the existing regulations on travel to Cuba, which is something that has been anticipated since the President’s inauguration.

Hillsborough Regional Transit Authority looking at changes

In an effort to save money, HART is looking to changing their bus network to provide better service

Governor deciding what to do about budget

Earlier this week, the Legislature sent their 2017-2018 budget package to Governor Scott for action.  The Governor has 15 days from delivery to decide what to do.

Constitution Revision Commission still working on rules

After 2 months, the Constitution Revision Commission is still working on the rules to govern the panel.

 

As things are changing in Tallahassee, Washington D.C. and here in Hillsborough County, the Tampa Chamber is watching those issues that are important to the community and your business.

Here is some of what we are watching:

  • Border Adjustment Tax issue
  • Governor’s possible vetoes
  • Federal budget
  • Proposed Federal Tax Plan
  • Possible changes to the Affordable Health Care Act
  • Possible changes with the relations between the U.S. and Cuba
  • Medical Marijuana and what that means to Tampa Bay
  • Workers’ Comp. Rate
  • Premium Transit Study
  • Regional MPO

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Policy & Transportation Digest

President releases infrastructure plan and budget proposal

This week, President Trump released his $ 1 trillion infrastructure plan as well as his proposed budget.  Along with the plan, a “statement of principles”  with the promise of more to come from the administration.

Administration looks at incentives to privatize public assets

The President’s administration is looking into the possibility of providing incentives to  privatizing some  public assets to help the infrastructure plan.

Tourism dollars still may not be secure

The $25 million dollars the Florida Legislature placed in the budget still faces an uncertain future once the bill appropriating the funds is received by Governor Rick Scott

 

As things are changing in Tallahassee, Washington D.C. and here in Hillsborough County, the Tampa Chamber is watching those issues that are important to the community and your business.

Here is some of what we are watching:

  • Boarder Adjustment Tax issue
  • Governor’s possible vetoes
  • Federal budget
  • Proposed Federal Tax Plan
  • Possible changes to the Affordable Health Care Act
  • Possible changes with the relations between the U.S. and Cuba
  • Medical Marijuana and what that means to Tampa Bay
  • Workers’ Comp. Rate
  • Premium Transit Study
  • Regional MPO

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Policy & Transportation Digest

Possible impact of Homestead Exemption ballot measure on city budget
The City of Tampa’s CFO, Sonya Little told City Council this week that the impact to the city budget could be close to $6 million dollars.

Many Floridians still awaiting changes to Cuban policy
Throughout the state, many advocates on both sides of the debate are anxiously awaiting President Trump’s decision on Cuban policy.

Florida Supreme Court rules against slot machines
This week, the Court ruled in favor of the state who had denied slot machine licenses.  The ruling will affect several counties where voters have approved the use.
As things are changing in Tallahassee, Washington D.C. and here in Hillsborough County, the Tampa Chamber is watching those issues that are important to the community and your business.

Here is some of what we are watching:

  • Federal budget
  • Proposed Federal Tax Plan
  • Possible changes to the Affordable Health Care Act
  • Possible changes with the relations between the U.S. and Cuba
  • Appropriations request rule changes in Tallahassee
  • Medical Marijuana and what that means to Tampa Bay
  • Workers’ Comp. Rate
  • Premium Transit Study
  • Regional MPO

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