Again, thanks to George Andrews for providing this sample letter that can be sent to Governor Crist encouraging him to veto this bill.  It is often better to change the wording of these letters to make them your own.  However, because of the time restaints, it will be better to just copy it and send it rather than worry about the wording. 

Gov. Crist’s e-mail address is:  Charlie.Crist@myflorida.com

His office phone number is:  850 488 7146

Fax number:  850 487 0801

Mailing address is:       

  •                                                Office of the Governor
  •                                                The Capitol
  •                                                 400 South Monroe Street
  •                                                 Tallahassee, FL  32399

 

Dear Governor Crist,                 

ISSUE:  House and Senate Bill Related to Medicaid Reform and Implementation of HMO Management of the HCBS Medicaid Waiver  HB 7723

Question:  Should the State be Divided Into Regions Managed by HMO’s and Preferred Provider Networks

ANSWER:  NO!   PLEASE VETO THIS BILL

I realize you have difficult budget decisions to make. But please DO NOT SIGN the Medicaid Reform Bill.

The House and Senate adopted these bills, written largely if not entirely by a lobbyist for one of the HMO’s, without due consideration for the data available from the pilot study of this being conducted in the Miami-Dade area of the state. The reviews from those areas are mixed and hardly conclusive in showing that they improve the quality of life for any of the disabled citizens they are supposed to serve. In fact, there are numerous concerns among a great many recipients of services in those areas regarding the loss of choice and the significant decrease in the quality of services received under the HMO system. These bills were rushed through both the House (introduced in only 1 committee and 1 week later  voted on house floor-does that sound familiar?) and Senate with limited transparency and little deliberation–as if the deals for approval were made well in advance of the readings.   Is this the type of example and values we want to teach our young voters?  The message sent was that the rich and powerful can quickly force a dramatic change on the elderly and disabled without any notice or input from the very people the new law will affect.  

The current system involves the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) playing a significant role in quality assurance and private contract HCBS Medicaid Waiver providers who advocate for the needs of their caseloads working together to get the needs of the developmentally disabled citizens of the state met. It has been working very well and though harsh, the cost containment efforts of this current system are finally showing significant gains while still allowing the State of Florida a good measure of control over the quality of services provided. Surrendering the entire service system over to greedy, profit-hungry HMO entities is NOT the way we want the State of Florida to go. 

If you still are inclined to support this proposal, please first consider increasing the scope of the pilot study currently underway or allow more time to study the results of the current pilot project to see if it actually works.  Make sure this proposal is proved before inflicting this drastic change on more than 30,000 people with disabilities and their families and over 2.7 million other voting Floridians.  There will also be thousands of employees within companies that will likely lose their job once implemented since HMOs and PPNs would employ their own people.  Billions of state funded dollars may also leave the State of Florida if any of the new HMOs or PPNs are located outside of the state.  Will this improve our economy and jobs? 

I am earnestly asking you to VETO the Medicaid Reform Bill and allow the current system with any necessary cost reductions to work. There are NO winners in this bill with the sole exception of HMO’s.

Thank you.

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