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Florida Democratic Disability Caucus Calls on AHCA Secretary to Review Care of State's Ventilator-Dependent Patients

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Today, the Florida Democratic Disability Caucus issued the following statement calling on Secretary Mary Mayhew of the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to review the care of the state's ventilator-dependent patients following a Miami Herald investigative report:

"The Florida Democratic Disability Caucus condemns the actions of the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) in their on-going and decades-long discrimination against Florida's ventilator dependent patients. AHCA has failed to implement a network of long-term care facilities that are equipped to provide the specialized care that Floridians with disabilities are entitled to receive. As a result, AHCA's lack of care has not only forced ventilator-dependent patients to languish in hospitals across Florida, they have forced them to move out of the state and away from their families who provide them with the love and support they need. Individuals who are ventilator-dependent face a future of isolation and death. We urge AHCA Secretary Mary Mayhew to conduct an immediate review of the care of all ventilator-dependent patients throughout the state. This treatment of Florida's most vulnerable under AHCA's watch is not only discriminatory, it's cruel."

Recently, a lawsuit was been filed by a ventilator-dependent patient against the secretary of the AHCA who has been occupying a bed in Tampa General Hospital for over a year. An article published in the Miami Herald states, "When the administrators evict her from her bed as planned, she faces a terrible choice: She can return home, where her husband and adult daughter are both incapable of caring for her, or she can die alone, more than 330 miles away — in Georgia."