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Momentum Builds in Florida Legislature to Rename Proposed Legislation After Miami Heat Fan Favorite and NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning
Date:4/23/2009

ng way in ensuring thousands of vulnerable Floridians like myself gain access to the medical care we need without burdensome regulations putting us and our families at risk," added kidney transplant patient and advocate Denise Martinez of Miami.

During Mourning's advocacy efforts last month, Governor Charlie Crist said he would sign the bill and he would like for Mourning to return to Tallahassee if and when the legislature passes it and the Governor signs it into law. Mourning agreed, asking the Governor to attend his jersey retirement party on March 30. Not only did the Governor attend the ceremony, he spoke at the event as well.

Mourning said, "I am just so touched and humbled by this incredible gesture from both Republicans and Democrats in the Florida Legislature, as well as my friends throughout the kidney community. From my own experience with kidney disease, I know how critical it is to have access to life-saving medical treatments, such as dialysis services, transplantation, and prescription medications, and the importance of coverage."

"The Alonzo Mourning Access to Care Act" would give Florida end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients under the age of 65 access to Medigap coverage assistance. Under federal law, all Medicare beneficiaries over age 65 are already able to purchase this insurance as secondary coverage, which provides them with access to needed medical treatments, including kidney transplant, without cost being a barrier -- and without having to "spend down" their income to become eligible for state Medicaid assistance, in many cases the only option for this population. Mourning asked that this same option be extended to kidney patients under age 65. The current bill has been approved by committee and is poised for final passage by the full legislature.

Stephanie Hutchinson, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation of Florida, who accompanied Mourning in advocating fo
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SOURCE National Kidney Foundation of Florida
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