Feb 3, 2017

Rick Scott wants to gut hospital Medicaid payments

Steve Cannon / AP

Republican Gov. Rick Scott's budget for the next fiscal year would cut Medicaid payments to hospitals by $930 million.

Scott didn't mince words. "Florida's hospitals continue to have record profits, and the governor is committed to fighting price gouging and unfair costs for Floridians needing important medical care," his office said in a release. Most of the cuts will come from allowing the state's Medicaid health insurers to pay hospitals less. The Florida Hospital Association told the Naples Daily News it condemned the policy.

Why this matters: Scott used to run HCA, the country's largest for-profit hospital company, which was embroiled in a massive fraud probe as he left and later paid $1.7 billion in fines. The Medicaid cuts would disproportionately affect not-for-profit and public hospitals that treat more poor patients. And despite the tough words, Scott indirectly praised his former company when he said he wanted to eliminate "supplemental payments for hospitals that provide less charity compared to the for-profit hospital industry."

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Updated 1 min ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. cities crack down on protesters

The scene near the 5th police precinct during a demonstration calling for justice for George Floyd in Minneapolis on Saturday. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of demonstrators gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

Updated 6 mins ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Clashes erupted between police and protesters in several major U.S. cities over Saturday night as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the country.

The big picture: Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protesters and police clash nationwide over George Floyd

A firework explodes behind a line of police officers next to the Colorado State Capitol during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Denver on May 30. Photo : Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray as the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd continued nationwide into early Sunday.

The big picture: Police responded over the weekend with force, in cities ranging from Salt Lake City to Atlanta to Des Moines, Houston to Detroit, Milwaukee to Washington, D.C., Denver and Louisville. Large crowds gathered in Minneapolis on Saturday for the fifth day in a row.