Miriam Harmatz is one of Florida’s leading Medicaid advocates and a former health law attorney at Florida Legal Services and an adjunct professor in the Health Law Clinic at Florida International University College of Law. Miriam is the co-executive director of the Florida Health Justice Project, a new nonprofit advocacy organization, which seeks to improve access to affordable health care for Floridians, with a focus on vulnerable low-income populations. Miriam has had a life-long interest in health care access issues and began her studies and advocacy in college when she wrote her senior thesis on why Congress failed to pass any of the promising universal health care proposals being debated in 1974. As a legal services lawyer in Miami, Miriam has worked on expanding local access to health care, including a Hill-Burton Act class complaint against the public hospital challenging inpatient admission deposits for indigent residents.
Miriam led a coalition that challenged the hospital’s denial of free or reduced-cost care to foreign-born county residents. She has helped ensure due process and prescription coverage for Medicaid recipients as lead counsel on successful federal court class actions including Edmonds v. Levine and Hernandez v. Medow, and helped to establish a toll-free prescription helpline for low-income Floridians. She was lead or co-counsel on federal and state court Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment cases such as K.G. ex rel. Garrido v. Dudek; Smith v. Benson; and C.F. v. Dept. of Children and Families.