HomeHealthHealth CareAgency for Health Care Administration Secretary Simone Marstiller calls it quits

Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Simone Marstiller calls it quits

Secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). Simone Marshall will resign her job, the first departure during what could be a busy transition for the newly re-elected Gov. Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis announced in a tweet Monday that Marstiller will be leaving his administration. He said Marstiller was “leading the way by pushing transparency and accountability in healthcare, fighting for patients’ rights and standing up against vax mandates. She showed an unwavering dedication to Floridians – I thank her for her service and wish her well in retirement.

Many top officials routinely leave the state government and join prominent lobbying and legal firms in Tallahassee where they could immediately lobby the legislature. But that is no longer allowed at the end of the year. Marstiller’s departure comes weeks before the new lobbying ban goes into effect.

Marstiller tweeted in response. “It has been a privilege and a blessing to work with you on such important issues. May God continue to command your steps as you lead the great FREE state of Florida.

It is not clear when Marstiller will leave the post. AHCA did not immediately respond to a Florida Politics request for comment.

Marstiller was appointed secretary of the AHCA in February 2021 and was previously in charge of the Department of Child Justice. Marstiller, who was once an appeals court judge, had worked for several years at the Gunster law firm, where she registered in 2018 to lobby the executive branch on behalf of Associated Industries of Florida.

Marstiller replaced Acting Secretary Shevaun Harris, who was subsequently appointed to head the bureau Mary Mayhew has resigned to head of the Florida Hospital Association. Harris was subsequently moved from AHCA and appointed Secretary of the Children and Family Department.

Florida voters first approved a six-year lobbying ban in 2018 and called for it to be abolished by the end of this year. At the 2022 regular session, state legislators passed a law clarifying which executive branch officials were covered by the ban and instituted penalties for anyone who violated the new ban.

Current law only requires top officials to wait two years before lobbying their former employer. The new ban also includes a much broader ban on lobbying, blocking former bureau chiefs from not only lobbying their former employers, but also from lobbying the legislature.

AHCA houses the state’s Medicaid program and is also the agency charged with regulating healthcare facilities, from abortion clinics to nursing homes to hospitals.

DeSantis announced on social media last week that Surgeon General is standing Joseph Ladapo would remain part of the board as DeSantis begins his second term as governor.

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