It has often been said that two things one should never see being made are sausage and legislation, and in the words of House Health Council Chairman Aaron Bean this week, "We are making a lot of sausage."
The recent announcement of state income shortfall of approximately one billion dollars appears to have hit physicians hard, as planned Medicaid physician increases quickly vanished from the Medicaid budget revealed this week. One can only imagine the cuts that would surely have resulted if the Chapter and others had not been fighting as hard as we have.
In this week's biggest fight; Chapter lobbying helped prevent pharmacists from gaining the right to administer any and all immunizations, as the Senate Health Regulation Committee voted to allow pharmacists to administer only flu shots. Special thanks to Joshua Lenchus, D.O. for providing critical testimony essential to obtaining that reduction in the bill's scope. At the same time, Jason M. Goldman, M.D. was testifying in the Senate Health Policy Committee for the State to appoint a Surgeon General responsible for promoting health throughout the state of Florida; the Committee agreed with Dr. Goldman and unanimously passed a bill to do just that. Finally, Chapter lobbying helped kill a bill that would have mandated that physicians charge no more than their lowest negotiated rate to any uninsured person making less than $125,000 per year.
After a slow start, the Legislature is tackling a flurry of bills in the next few weeks, and the Chapter will be there each and every day of Health Care Committee meetings to protect the interests of the Chapter, its physicians, and their patients.
Special thanks goes to Stuart B. Himmelstein, M.D., FACP, Jason M. Goldman, M.D., Joshua Lenchus, D.O., and Mt. Sinai resident Ricardo Garcia, M.D., and UF Shands Jacksonville Chief resident Bharat K. Gummadi, M.D., each of whom took two days out of their practices to lobby legislators in Tallahassee on behalf of the Chapter. This week showed how such lobbying does pay off, and they are owed an enormous debt of gratitude.
We appreciate our Chapter members who took time to respond to our Votervoice alert to contact Legislators this week. Thank you!
Read additional Legislative Reports for 2007.
Page updated: 03/19/07
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