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First Coast Connect

10/16/2017: Florida Blue ACA Subsidies; LGBT Survey; Fitness Fusion; Cole Pepper

Monday on First Coast Connect, in the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive order to end subsidies for health insurance companies we spoke with Florida Blue and GuideWell CEO Pat Geraghty (01:06).

We heard about  a survey by the LGBT Community Fund for Northeast Florida of the LGBT community and the upcoming sold-out Coming Out Day Breakfast at the Downtown Hyatt. We were joined by LGBT

Community Fund President Michael Meyers and Executive Director of JASMYN, the Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network, Cindy Watson (26:03).   

First Coast YMCA director of corporate and community engagement Dana Troeger told us about this weekend’s Fitness Fusion at Daily’s Place Flex Field (38:23).

Cole Pepper talked about the Jaguars loss to the Los Angeles Rams, this past weekend’s college games and the first game of the Jacksonville Icemen (44:00). 

Florida Blue ACA Subsidies

President Trump's decision Thursday to end subsidy payments to health insurance companies is expected to raise premiums for middle-class families and cost the federal government hundreds of billions of dollars. That’s according to congressional budget estimates. However, the Trump administration says the president’s executive order is a step toward giving consumers more choices and expanding millions of Americans’ access to lower cost insurance that better fits their individual needs.

Trump’s move on healthcare has millions of Americans wondering how their insurance coverage will be affected. Florida Blue is the state’s largest insurer and biggest participant in the Obamacare or Affordable Care Act exchanges. Geraghty said despite the changes Florida Blue customers premiums will not increase this year.

LGBT Survey

It’s a growing community in this area, but there’s not a lot of good information and data on hand, about LGBT citizens of Northeast Florida.

The LGBT Community Fund for Northeast Florida is looking for LGBTI adults to participate in a brief and anonymous survey. The data collected will help service organizations and policymakers better serve the needs of this diverse community.

The annual JASMYN Coming Out Day Breakfast will be held 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Oct. 20 at the Hyatt. The event is sold out. If attending you need to enter the venue from the second floor parking garage. The first floor of the hotel is still inaccessible.    

Fitness Fusion

Well it’s billed as the largest ever citywide group exercise event. Fitness Fusion takes over Daily’s Place 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. It’s the first public event at the Jaguars new state-of-the-art indoor practice facility, Flex Field.

To encourage the entire community to take part in this one-of-a-kind exercise opportunity, the First Coast YMCA will also provide free childcare and Jaguars game day youth activities.  

Cole Pepper

The Jaguars roller coaster season continued with a 27-17 loss to the Rams. Special teams performed poorly giving up kickoff return and a block punt for touchdowns, some poor punts ands two missed field goals.

Florida lost to Texas A&M 19-17 while Florida State beat Duke 17-10.Georgia remained undefeated and the Icemen debuted to a full house at Veterans Arena on Saturday.   

Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.