Last Call for 8.20.20 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

A digest of the day's politics and policy while the bartender refreshes your drink.

Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.

First Shot

Ed. note — Sunburn, the morning read of what is hot in Florida Politics, is taking a well-deserved post-primary day off and will not be in mailboxes Friday morning. Never fear; Sunburn will return on Monday morning. Thanks to all our readers for your support.


Floridians overwhelmingly want President Donald Trump to reduce prescription drug copays for seniors on Medicare, according to a recent poll.

Floridians for Attainable and Innovative Rx found that 77% of voters want the federal government to allow drug companies to help those seniors pay for their prescriptions with private copay coupons.

“COVID-19 has imposed significant financial hardships on seniors and their families, and those challenges are made worse without out-of-pocket limits for the prescription drugs they rely on to lead healthy lives,” said Dr. Eric Goldsmith, President of the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association. “If pharmaceutical companies are allowed to provide copay coupons to Medicare recipients, senior citizens could better afford the important medications they need to stay healthy and out of hospitals.”

Because COVID-19 disproportionately affects the elderly, the federal government has waived copays for seniors on Medicare who attend doctor appointments using telehealth services. Distributing copay coupon cards would extend waivers to prescription drugs, helping seniors afford their medicine and stay healthy.

Current law forbids copay assistance to seniors on Medicare to prevent doctors from prescribing one drug over another based on copay coupons. If patients begin favoring the more expensive version over the cheaper generic version, the fear is that health care costs could rise across the board.

But support is spread fairly evenly across party lines. According to the poll, 78% of Republicans, 80% of Democrats and 77% of independents would support an order.

However, a partisan slant emerges after asking whether Trump should allow drug companies to provide that help during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among Republicans, support rises to 85%, and it falls among Democrats and independents to 67% and 70% respectively.

About 40% of Florida voters, including 15% of Democrats, would be more likely to vote for Trump if he allowed for copay cards for seniors on Medicare.

“It’s clear from this poll that Florida voters support President Trump reducing the financial burden for seniors’ prescription medications,” Goldsmith said.

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 582,407 FL residents (+4,516 since Wednesday)

— 6,195 Non-FL residents (+39 since Wednesday)


— 4,408 Travel related

— 186,437 Contact with a confirmed case

— 4,597 Both

— 386,965 Under investigation


— 35,650 in FL


— 10,186 in FL

Evening Reads

Republicans are suing the stop people from voting the way Donald Trump did” via Katelyn Polantz of CNN

Mike Pence postponed trip to South Florida” via the News Service of Florida

Rick Scott says Joe Biden would stooge for China” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

Florida men are snagged in Steve Bannon’s build-the-wall scandal. Feds call it a fraud.” via Samantha Gross, Kevin Hall, Ben Wieder and Shirsho Dasgupta of the Tampa Bay Times

Unemployment claims jump back over 1M” via Rebecca Rainey of POLITICO

More than 10K Floridians have died with COVID-19” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics

South Florida records second-lowest COVID-19 death toll of previous two weeks” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics

Slow, steady improvement in Florida COVID-19 hospital data” via Langston Taylor of the Tampa Bay Times

Nearly 600 Miami-Dade County Public Schools employees have tested positive for COVID-19” via Colleen Wright of the Miami Herald

Demographic change + coronavirus + racial justice movement combine to produce sweeping change in Broward” via Anthony Man of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Twitter won’t reinstate Laura Loomer’s account after history of hate speech” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics

Despite primary loss, Kim Daniels isn’t finished in politics” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

Judge orders new cost estimate for elections proposal” via Jim Saunders of the News Service of Florida

Two new storms form in Atlantic, could threaten Florida, Gulf Coast” via The Associated Press

Florida Trump supporter punches neighbor in face over Biden yard sign, police say” via Emily Czachor of Newsweek

Quote of the Day

“Anyone accused of defrauding Floridians should face the full measure of justice … From the beginning, this investigation been fully nonpartisan, independent, carried out with the professionalism it deserves. As our department considers further action, I thank the U.S. Department of Justice and federal and state partners for their efforts to protect Florida’s consumers from alleged fraud.” — Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on the “We Build the Wall” charity fraud arrests.

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