“The court was not fooled by the state’s lawless behavior and manifest disregard for its ruling, but reserved action because of the current appeal.”
(TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — February 2, 2024) This week, U.S. District Court Judge Robert L. Hinkle called out the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) for its evident non-compliance with his order invalidating AHCA’s 2022 rule banning Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming medical care for Florida’s transgender Medicaid beneficiaries.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs in Dekker v. Weida at Lambda Legal, Southern Legal Counsel, Florida Health Justice Project, National Health Law Program, and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman released the following statement:
“This week, Judge Hinkle castigated Florida state health officials for their willful disobedience in complying with his decision in the lawsuit we brought challenging AHCA’s discriminatory effort to deny coverage for necessary medical care to transgender Floridians on Medicaid. The judge ruled in June of 2023 that denying medical care to transgender Medicaid beneficiaries based on AHCA’s 2022 rule and the similar ban included in SB 254 were unlawful and unconstitutional. In his ruling this week, the judge underscored and reiterated that the anti-transgender Medicaid rule remains invalid and indicated that the state of Florida was willfully disobeying the law. The court reiterated that AHCA and Florida officials ‘are not free to ignore the [court’s] judgment’ and ‘are not free to continue to deny coverage based on the invalidated categorical ban.
The court was not fooled by the state’s lawless behavior and manifest disregard for the law. Neither should anyone in Florida. While the court reserved action at this moment, it indicated its willingness to enforce its judgment once the current appeal process concludes.”
Press Contact: Lambda Legal: Samy Nemir, [email protected], (2022) 672-4877