FMA opposes Florida’s push to overhaul the state’s $22 billion Medicaid program.

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A powerful new foe has come out against Florida’s push to overhaul the state’s $22 billion Medicaid program, writes Christine Jordan Sexton.

The Florida Medical Association is now the latest group to join a long list of those opposed to the sweeping reform of the safety-net program for the poor, elderly and disabled passed by the GOP-controlled Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott.

The move is significant because Republicans have worked in tandem with the FMA on several initiatives in recent years, including a medical malpractice bill during the 2011 session.

Under a resolution approved by the FMA House of Delegates last weekend, the state’s largest doctor’s organization will be required to send a letter to the federal government within one month specifically asking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services not to extend an existing waiver that allows a Medicaid Reform pilot in five counties to expand statewide and, furthermore, not to approve any new waiver needed to remodel Medicaid “because Florida has failed and is still failing to properly address concerns by patients, physicians, hospitals” and the federal government.

The resolution was championed by the Broward County Medical Association and its president,Aaron Elkin, an OB/GYN and a Medicaid participating provider who has first hand experience with the Medicaid Reform pilot project since its inception in 2005. Elkin said under Medicaid  Reform he rarely sees pregnant patients in their first trimester and often does not see them until midway of their second semester.

“It’s a huge thing for the FMA to send a letter to CMS and to say ‘stop,'” Elkin said in an interview. “We’re going to put our foot down.”

Continue reading Christine Jordan Sexton’s story here.

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.