TaxWatch triggers turkey talk

Some call them pork projects. In Florida, many call them turkeys. Others call them a worthy use of legislative discretion. Florida TaxWatch, the business-backed research group, released its annual list of turkeys today, finding nearly $203 million in local projects not requested by state agencies or vetted by the traditional budgeting process - an increase over recent years, and the most since 2007. Its press release notes that an increase of $138 million could increase K-12 education funding by $53 per student.

Family planning requirements may complicate federal approval of Florida Medicaid waiver

According to The News Service of Florida, Florida health officials have “less than three months to develop a detailed Medicaid-overhaul plan to sell to the Obama administration. But whether or not the federal government will give Florida a go-ahead with its proposed overhaul is unclear, due to certain provisions that conflict with basic federal laws.” Among these conflicts is a provision that allows Medicaid providers to opt-out of providing family planning services on “moral or religious grounds.”

Report: use of IUD’s in the U.S. on the rise, credits ‘contraceptive equity laws,’ for recent increase

A recent report released by Family Health International, the Guttmacher Institute and the University of New Mexico shows that the United States has seen in a rise in the number of women who use an intrauterine device (IUD) as a method of birth control in the past few years. Among other factors, the report credits an increase of this form of birth control with “top tier of contraceptive effectiveness” because of “contraceptive equity laws that require insurance plans to cover contraceptive methods, including intrauterine contraception.”