Axios Tampa Bay

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Hey, Monday.

☀️ ​​Sunny, slight chance of thunderstorms. 90°/72°.

Today's newsletter is 869 words, a 3.3-minute read.

1 big thing: 600,000 kids booted from Medicaid

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Florida disenrolled children from Medicaid at a much higher rate last year than it did adults, a new analysis from the Urban Institute shows.

Why it matters: Even brief gaps in insurance can disrupt care and worsen health outcomes — especially for children, whose "rapid development" makes them more vulnerable than adults, the study's authors write.

Catch up quick: States regularly review if those enrolled in Medicaid still qualify based on income or other eligibility factors. But Congress put a hold on those checks during the pandemic.

  • This pandemic-era protection expired in 2023, and states soon began reviewing their Medicaid rolls and disenrolling people who didn't respond or no longer qualified for coverage.
  • Florida resumed this process in April of last year.

The big picture: Florida removed more children from Medicaid than the Urban Institute had anticipated. The state's net child disenrollment exceeded 140% of the think tank's projections.

  • The Center for Children and Families and Research also finds that nearly 600,000 fewer children in Florida were enrolled in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in December.
  • Florida accounts for 14% of the total 4.16 million decline in child Medicaid and CHIP enrollment across the nation, per the Center's analysis.

Between the lines: Florida is the only state not to have used any optional flexibilities the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services offered to ease this process.

The other side: The state Department of Children and Families defended its disenrollment process in a statement to Florida Politics.

  • "It is hard to fathom what additional measures the state could even take beyond the exhaustive measures that are already in place to support these individuals through the process," the statement reads.

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2. 🏡 Hillsborough home values on the rise

Table showing the ZIP codes in the Tampa Bay metro area with the greatest home appreciation in the past year. The ZIP code with the greatest change from March 2023 to March 2024 is 33548 in Hillsborough County with a typical home value of $648240 and a year-over-year change of +9.4%.
Data: Zillow; Note: Typical home value refers to the average of the middle third of Zillow home value estimates for every home in a given region with a county record, including single-family, condominium and co-operative homes; Table: Axios Visuals

A ZIP code near the Hillsborough-Pasco county line saw Tampa Bay's highest jump in typical home values compared to a year ago, per Zillow data shared with Axios.

Why it matters: Fewer homes on the market kept prices growing in most areas, even as affordability dwindled, according to Zillow chief economist Skylar Olsen.

The big picture: Typical home values rose annually in nearly all major U.S. metros, including ours, Olsen found.

Zoom in: In Tampa Bay, ZIP code 33548 saw a 9% rise in typical home values since March 2023.

  • That ZIP code is home to parts of Lutz west of U.S. Highway 41 and includes a sliver of Pasco County south of where Dale Mabry Highway meets 41.
  • Four other Tampa Bay ZIP codes saw roughly 8% increases: 33614 in the Egypt Lake-Leto area, 33612 in North Tampa, 33617 in Temple Terrace and 33713 in the Historic Kenwood area of St. Petersburg.

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3. The Pulp: Goodnight, sweet prince

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

🖌️ A mural of Tom Brady in St. Petersburg has been painted over to promote the Rays' new skateboard-themed City Connect uniforms. (Tampa Bay Times)

  • Speaking of our former QB: ​​Kevin Hart hosts a live and unedited roast of the seven-time Super Bowl champ. Sunday on Netflix.

✈️ Delta Air Lines will restart its seasonal nonstop service from Tampa to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in the fall, after a five-year hiatus. (WFLA)

🍜 Asian-fusion restaurant Rakki soft-launched in Seminole Heights last week. The "rice and noodles" concept is serving a variety of ramen, dumplings and bao buns while finalizing its menu. (Creative Loafing)

4. Quote du jour: Deputy talks "Surviving a Serial Killer"

Harris Faulkner and Lisa McVey. Photo: Courtesy of Fox

"My ultimate desire is to be in the Special Victims Unit .... That's why I became a sheriff's deputy, because I want to give back to the community that ultimately saved my life."
— Hillsborough County Sheriff's Deputy Lisa McVey

In a new Fox Nation Special, "Surviving a Serial Killer," McVey recounts how she escaped Bobby Joe Long nearly 40 years ago.

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Illustration: Andrew Caress/Axios

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5. 🦆 Duck, duck, art

iBOMS art at Fairgrounds St. Pete. Photo: Courtesy of Press Marketing

Travelers at Tampa International Airport can get a taste of the whacky, wondrous Fairgrounds experience this summer.

Why it matters: Tourists who plan to go to Tampa Bay's famous downtown art institutions with works from Dalí or Chihuly have a new spot to add to the list.

State of play: "Joy For All," spotlights St. Pete's 24-year-old Jabari Reed AKA iBOMS.

  • The airport's diorama-style exhibit is an extension of the Fairgrounds' permanent iBOMS exhibit that debuted last week alongside a limited-time scavenger hunt for interactive rubber ducks.

Zoom in: Reed juxtaposes cartoon characters and toys with swampy settings, exploring his experience as a Black man in Florida, along with concepts like materialism, ego and faith.

  • His Fairgrounds exhibit includes glowing and iridescent paintings, a sparkling "Grillz Garden" and wordplay.
  • The corresponding scavenger hunt challenges guests to find hidden rubber ducks and stamp each design to complete the artwork and win a limited-edition iBOMS duck.

What they're saying: On the contrasts in his work, Reed told Axios "It's like the darkness accompanying the stars in the sky. You wouldn't be able to appreciate the beauty if you weren't unsettled."

If you go: The airport's installation will be up through September. The "Lucky Duck Hunt" is extra when purchasing Fairgrounds tickets.

Tell a traveler

🧤 Selene is wondering how Drake can recover from Kendrick's latest diss.

🥩 Yacob is waiting for Drake to hit the "red button."

📖 Kathryn is starting her book club book, "My Year of Rest and Relaxation" by Ottessa Moshfegh.

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This newsletter was edited by Jeff Weiner and copy edited by Azi Najafi.