AIDS Healthcare Foundation Protest05/31/07 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday | Listen to this entire show:
Protestors gathered this morning at todayâ€™s Florida Disease Management Summit to rally against changes in the way the state cares for HIV/AIDS patients on Medicaid. As part of recent Medicaid reform, the state got rid of its contract with the non-profit AIDS Healthcare Foundation and awarded the right to provide statewide care for HIV/AIDS patients to a for-profit organization.
(â€œWell there are profound changes going onâ€¦â€)
AIDS Healthcare Foundation president Michael Weinstein says that this was a careless move on the part of the state, and that it reflects a negative attitude toward HIV/AIDS patients.
(â€œThe focus is not on the dollars and not the patientsâ€¦â€)
Weinstein says that, in spite of his organizationâ€™s successes in caring for Floridians with HIV/AIDS on Medicaid, the state has broken a number of promises it had made to those patients.
(â€œWell, one of the things they said was thatâ€¦â€)
AIDS Healthcare Foundationâ€™s Positive Healthcare works, Weinstein says, for everyone involved.
(â€œThe State of Floridaâ€™s own report saysâ€¦â€)
But Weinstein says the he believes that the state would rather award the contract to an HIV/AIDS care provider that does not work primarily in the interests of the patients.
This, he says, is reflective of the stateâ€™s attitude toward HIV/AIDS.
Weinstein says that the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has proposed mediation with state, but that the state hasnâ€™t responded. While he was happy with the turnout at todayâ€™s demonstration, he plans to take the issue to Tallahassee in the near future. Neither the Governorâ€™s office nor Floridaâ€™s Agency for Healthcare Administration returned WMNFâ€™s phone calls by airtime.