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Saint Peters Blog: Senate is the ‘right place’ for Florida Medical Association’s top priority

Gaetz said people’s opposition to the measure focuses on the notion that it will raise costs and there should not be a government panel reviewing healthcare decisions. With regards to raising costs Gaetz said he has 17 binders with 127 insurance rate filings in 12 states with similar legislation. None of those filings, he said, mention anything about fail first or step therapy increasing costs.

“There is no evidence. We have waited in committee after committee for the evidence to come forward and it never has because it doesn’t exist,” he said.

He then downplayed the notion that insurance and HMO panels that review medical decisions are objective because the people on those panels are paid by the insurers. Gaetz then told the committee a story about a former employee of his who, along with her husband, has been diagnosed with Hepatitis C.

Gaetz said she was told by the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville to pursue certain treatment that, Gaetz said, was denied by the insurance carrier. When they went back to Mayo Clinic they were told by doctors again what they needed to do and were warned if the carrier forced them to go through different treatments it could kill them.

Gaetz said when the couple went back to the insurance company they were told, “Well, maybe if you could get your senator to call, we might make an exception,” Gaetz, said finishing the story and the closing on his bill. “It is inappropriate, it is immoral. It needs to stop and this bill will stop it.”

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