Pediatricians say Florida agency reps won't meet about issues under 'Obamacare'

28 Sep 2012 12:03 PM | Anonymous
THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE - With the clock ticking on Florida's ability to control how it applies the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, pediatricians say they've been trying to meet with the agency that oversees the state's Medicaid program --- to no avail.

The Agency for Health Care Administration last month declined a request from the Florida Pediatric Society to discuss how the state will implement those aspects of the federal health-care overhaul that relate to children.

"Whatever program is ultimately designed, there are risks where children could fall through the cracks in a system that's really oriented to adults," said former state lawmaker Sam Bell, a lobbyist for the pediatricians' group. "So we bring the kind of expertise that will highlight not only where those cracks occur but the kind of care that needs to be mandated as part of the system."

AHCA, however, refused the meeting because the Florida Pediatric Society is suing them over another matter.

According to an Aug. 29 letter from the state attorney general's office, AHCA Secretary Elizabeth Dudek "respectfully decline[d]" the meeting due to a pending class-action lawsuit brought by the pediatricians' group against Florida Medicaid, which AHCA oversees. Dudek is one of the defendants.

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