AIDS Healthcare Foundation Protest05/31/07 Kate Bradshaw
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Protestors gathered this morning at today’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.
(“Well there are profound changes going on…”)
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.
(“The focus is not on the dollars and not the patients…”)
Weinstein says that, in spite of his organization’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.
(“Well, one of the things they said was that…”)
AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Positive Healthcare works, Weinstein says, for everyone involved.
(“The State of Florida’s own report says…”)
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 state’s attitude toward HIV/AIDS.
Weinstein says that the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has proposed mediation with state, but that the state hasn’t responded. While he was happy with the turnout at today’s demonstration, he plans to take the issue to Tallahassee in the near future. Neither the Governor’s office nor Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration returned WMNF’s phone calls by airtime.