(Alexandria, Virginia) – 60 Plus Association Chairman Jim Martin released this statement in response to the Florida Legislature’s action on trauma legislation:
“The trauma legislation that passed the Florida legislature fails to address the critical need for trauma care in several communities that have long needed a trauma center to provide life-saving care to seniors and other residents. While the legislation does allow for the development of new trauma centers in certain parts of the state, other communities are no closer to a trauma center than before. This outcome falls far short of the most critical needs of Florida seniors and the desire of 90 percent of Floridians who supported legislative action for access to immediate trauma care according to our recent survey.
“Senate Bill 966 was designed to reduce the bureaucratic red tape involved in the trauma center verification process in Florida, but several trauma centers are now left to deal with major regulatory hurdles and baseless legal challenges from taxpayer funded hospitals.
“The Florida Senate had a chance to stand against anti-competitive forces by affirming the recent certification of several trauma centers that have saved hundreds of lives in their respective communities. Instead, many of these trauma centers remain subject to baseless legal actions taken by self-interested entities. These unwarranted actions threaten the health and safety of Florida seniors.
“While disappointed by the Senate’s recent legislation, we remain hopeful that the Department of Health (DOH) realizes the dire need for the state’s newest trauma centers to remain operational and that Floridians want and need readily available access to trauma care. DOH can address these needs through wise crafting of its new statewide trauma rule. To say that seniors are disappointed by this failure is understatement.”