Candidate hoping to make Florida Medical Association’s position on Medicaid an issue in HD 6 race

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Republican Thelma Rohan, who in a press release touts herself as a “medical professional,” wants to make an endorsement from the Florida Medical Association (FMA) an issue in the GOP primary for Florida House District 6.

Rohan is calling on front runner Jay Trumbull to “denounce” his endorsement by the FMA now that the organization representing Florida doctors is supporting Medicaid expansion in Florida, a controversial political issue that has divided state lawmakers.

Rohan, Trumbull and five other candidates vying to replace term-limited Rep. Jimmy Patronis in the district covering southern Bay County and Panama City, Panama City Beach and Tyndall Air Force Base.

“If Jay Trumbull, Jr. is a true conservative he would immediately denounce the FMA’s liberal position to expand Medicaid in Florida and he would denounce the FMA’s endorsement of his candidacy — but if Jay takes neither of these steps it essentially shows his support for turning Florida’s health care system in to an ObamaCare system,” said Rohan.

This past weekend, the FMA passed a resolution saying it will publicly support Medicaid expansion and accept nearly $50 billion in federal funds over 10 years, but only if expansion safeguards access to patient care and increases Medicaid reimbursement rates to doctors.

The organization said in a statement that increased access to care will only come “if there are adequate numbers of physicians to care for these patients,” noting current reimbursement rates are “grossly inadequate and serve as a disincentive to physician participation.”

Gov. Rick Scott said he supported Medicaid expansion in a surprise move two years ago, but hasn’t made it a priority and House Republicans blocked legislation. The issue has fizzled despite Democrats’ efforts.

Will Medicaid expansion became an issue in HD 6? Rohan obviously sure wants it to be.

“My husband and I have had a family medical practice here in Bay County for 35 years, I understand patient care and health care policy better than anyone running for this office,” said Rohan.  “I know for a fact that the course the FMA has suggested will further destroy Florida’s health care system and threaten quality care for many in Bay County, especially our senior citizens.”

Continued Rohan, “Health care is already the biggest slice of the state budget, and if Jay Trumbull, Jr. and the FMA have their way by expanding ObamaCare here, it will only gobble up more of our tax dollars while delivering lower quality health care to fewer people,” concluded Rohan.

Tim Stapleton, Executive Vice President of the FMA says Rohan is twisting the facts.

“Ms. Rohan is twisting the facts in a desperate and pathetic attempt to be relevant,” said Stapleton. “If she can’t be honest about this, how can anyone take her campaign seriously?”

Material from the Associated Press’ Kelli Kennedy was used in this post.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.