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AARP Florida Supports Live Healthy Bill to Strengthen Florida’s Healthcare Workforce while Increasing Access to Services

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On December 12, members of the Florida Senate Health Policy Committee introduced and passed SB 7016 (Health Care), a bill that includes several key provisions geared toward advancing a modern, refined health care system to meet the increasing demand for health care in Florida.

The Live Healthy legislation prioritizes the expansion and retention of the health care workforce, the enhancement of care accessibility, and the encouragement of innovation, aspects considered fundamental to establishing a more resilient and patient-focused healthcare delivery system for Florida residents, according to the bill’s sponsors.

AARP Florida supported the bill in committee as an effort to help prepare Florida to provide adequate health care access to residents.

"AARP Florida applauds the Senate’s recognition of the significance of addressing health care workforce needs in the state," said Jeff Johnson, AARP Florida State Director. "We support the Live Healthy initiative because a robust healthcare system is a fundamental component of an age-friendly or livable community. Even though this bill is premised on projections of a shortage of health care providers in Florida in the future, some residents are already encountering difficulties in getting the care they need today. This shortage echoes across the health care profession, particularly impacting long-term care providers, both in-home and in institutional settings, jeopardizing the health and well-being of vulnerable adults in need of assistance."

Furthermore, the substantial investment in various strategies to recruit and train more doctors and nurses is seen as a significant effort to address the imminent shortage of healthcare providers.

"As the bill progresses, we urge legislators to explore incorporating short-term solutions to alleviate the health care workforce shortage,” added Johnson. “With the increasing cost of living, many retired health care professionals are eager to rejoin the workforce. This constitutes a pool of highly trained, skilled nurses and other health care workers poised to address an immediate shortage. If individuals retire in good standing and opt to return, obstacles to returning to the workforce should be addressed.

“Additionally, “AARP will be listening to our members to hear what their concerns and experiences are related to our health care workforce, and we will continue bringing their voice to the legislative process.”

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