Fishkind Commentary: Extension Of Florida's Indigent Hospital Care Fund Is A Temporary Fix
The federal government is extending the indigent health care program at the center of Florida's budget standoff...but that extension is just a Band-Aid. That's according to 90.7's economic analyst Hank Fishkind. He says the one billion dollars for the Low Income Pool program – or LIP – may bridge the budget divide between the state House and Senate, but the program's getting less federal money than last year, and the cash comes with conditions. Fishkind says one reason for the decrease is that the LIP program has been extended before.
Fishkind Conversation: Financial Fallout From Florida's Budget Impasse And Gov. Scott's Lawsuit
Economic analyst Hank Fishkind says Tallahassee lawmakers are proving his point that political gridlock over abstract ideas can cause real economic harm. He expressed that opinion during our conversation last week...and since then, the Florida House adjourned before the legislative session's end and Governor Rick Scott filed a lawsuit against the federal government. Both of these moves stem from disagreements over how to handle health care in the state, and Fishkind says both of them could cause economic harm. First, a look at Governor Scott's lawsuit over the federal move to end the Low Income Pool program, or LIP. LIP helps pay hospitals for indigent care. Scott says ending the LIP and offering the money as part of the Affordable Care Act is tantamount to the federal government trying to coerce Florida into Obamacare. But Fishkind has a different perspective, as he tells WMFE's Nicole Creston. He starts with a little LIP history.
Fishkind Commentary: Florida Budget Standoff Could Rattle Local Economy
There's a stalemate over healthcare in Florida's legislature. That means the House and Senate will likely fail to pass a new state budget by Friday, the scheduled end of the legislative session. Economic analyst Hank Fishkind says the uncertainty created by that kind of impasse can cause a negative ripple effect throughout the economy that isn't limited to the healthcare sector. Fishkind spoke to 90.7's Nicole Creston from the Minneapolis-Saint Paul airport where he's traveling for business.
Fishkind Commentary: Universal Orlando's Wage Hike Is Part of Positive Trend For Workers, Economy
Universal Orlando recently announced a wage hike for starting hourly employees. Base pay will step up from $9 to $9.50 on June 1st of this year, then to $10 in June 2016. Universal's announcement follows in Walt Disney World's footsteps. The Orlando theme park giant is also set to raise starting pay for most positions to $10 by next year. Economic analyst Hank Fishkind tells WMFE's Nicole Creston the raises are a positive move in a state where the minimum wage is $8.05 an hour, which is higher than the federal minimum of $7.25, but still not keeping up with the cost of living.
Fishkind Conversations: Checking In On Gov. Scott's Job Creation Record
The Florida House and Senate have passed two very different proposals for a new state budget, and now the work of bridging the $4 billion gap between them gets underway. WMFE's economic analyst Hank Fishkind says that with all eyes on state finances, it's a good time to take stock of Governor Rick Scott's progress on his original "7-7-7 Plan." In his 2010 gubernatorial campaign, Scott said his policies would create 700,000 jobs in 7 years in addition to the jobs expected due to Florida's economic growth. This week, Fishkind tells WMFE's Nicole Creston where he thinks Scott's job creation record stands with three years of state budgets in the books, and the fourth in the works.
Fishkind Commentary: How FL's Population Growth Affects Your Financial Future
Florida's population growth has been getting a lot of attention since the recent US Census report named The Villages as the fastest growing metro area in the US. Keep reading that Census list, and you'll find plenty of other Florida cities and counties within the top 50 fastest growing areas, including Orange County. Economic analyst Hank Fishkind looks at population growth on the local level, and tells WMFE's Nicole Creston what it means for the wallets of Central Floridians.
The revised employment numbers for 2014 are out, and for the most part, they're better than economists thought...except in Florida, where they're a LOT better, according to 90.7 economic analyst Hank Fishkind. This week, Hank explains the annual benchmarked job numbers for 2014, and what they may mean for Central Florida in 2015.
Fishkind Commentary: New Retail Numbers Aren't As Bad As They Look
The latest numbers tracking retail sales across the nation are out, and they inched down by a little more than half a percentage point in February. That makes three straight months of declines. Normally, that would raise eyebrows, says economic analyst Hank Fishkind. But he says there are specific – and temporary – factors at play, and that means it's not as bad as it might look. This week, WMFE's Nicole Creston asked Fishkind to start with a quick round-up of what the retail sales numbers have been saying for the past three months, and what's behind them.
Fishkind Commentary: Federal Funds For FL's Indigent Health Care Dry Up This Year, Unless...
Florida may lose more than a billion dollars in annual federal funding that’s been paying for indigent care at public and private hospitals. The money came from a federal program called the Low Income Pool, or LIP. But the LIP is being phased out in favor of the Affordable Care Act…which Florida rejected. 90.7’s economic analyst Hank Fishkind says there may be an alternative to both LIP and the ACA…but Florida’s hospitals, lawmakers, and business community all have to work together. Fishkind calls the loss an unintended consequence of the state’s decision to opt out of Obamacare, and to turn down federal dollars that would’ve expanded Medicaid coverage to nearly a million more Floridians.
Fishkind Commentary: Better Water Quality Finally Possible In Florida
The declining quality and quantity of Florida’s water has been a hot topic for the last few years, from the state house to the court house to your house. But most attempts by Florida leaders to address the problem have faltered, says 90.7’s economic analyst Hank Fishkind. That is, perhaps, until now. Fishkind says that for the upcoming legislative session, the stars have aligned to let lawmakers make significant advancements in the way Florida keeps its water clean.