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Three health care-related bills, including one to expand workers’ compensation insurance benefits for injured first responders, were sent Monday to Gov. Rick Scott. Scott will have until March 27 to sign, veto or allow the bills to become law without his signature. The bills passed during the legislative session that ended Sunday. One of the measures (SB 376) would expand benefits for police officers, firefighters, emergency-medical technicians and paramedics who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder because they have witnessed the death of a minor or witnessed a death that involved “grievous bodily harm of a nature that shocks the conscience.” State Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, a Scott appointee and supporter of the bill, said last week that Scott would sign it into law. Scott also received a bill (SB 660), which would broaden a law that exempts health-care sharing ministries from Florida’s insurance codes. The bill, if signed by Scott, would benefit some large health-care ministries, including Melbourne-based Christian Care Ministries and its health care cost-sharing program known as Medi-Share. Last year, Medi-Share, which promotes itself as “God-honoring healthcare” served 300,000 members nationwide who agreed to attest to a “statement of faith” that, among other things, said the Bible is “God's written revelation to man and is verbally inspired.” The Legislature also sent to Scott an Agency for Health Care Administration bill (SB 622), that would change how the state regulates hospitals, assisted living facilities and clinical laboratories.

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