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My Florida C F O
Weekly eNewsletter from Florida's Chief Financial Officer

Dear Fellow Floridian:

On the behalf of all Floridians battling cancer, this session I am supporting a bill sponsored by Sen. Benacquisto and Rep. Mayfield called the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act. I became involved in this issue CFO Atwater speaks at the press conference.after Floridians battling cancer called my Division of Consumer Services to help intervene with their insurance companies. These cancer patients wanted to receive the oral chemotherapy recommended by their doctors, which requires a high out-of-pocket expense versus the much lower co-payment charged for intravenous chemotherapy.

In one recent plea for help, a consumer’s co-payment was $45 for IV chemotherapy, but when he went to fill the prescription for the oral version prescribed by his doctor, he learned that he now was required to pay $2,300 monthly for the same medication.

This legislation will require insurers to cover oral chemotherapy in the same manner as the IV therapy aimed at producing the same result. Floridians who are fighting cancer should be able to focus on beating the disease without added anxiety over whether they can afford the form of chemotherapy recommended by their doctor. Along with the sponsors of this legislation, we will work to remedy this injustice.

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

News of Interest

Orlando Sentinel: Front & Center: Balancing Florida's checkbook

Fox Tampa Bay: State pays for empty spots at treatment facilities

Sun-Sentinel: Investors starting young as housing market heats up

Central Florida News 13: Dragon capsule arrives at International Space Station

Sun-Sentinel: AutoNation: New vehicle sales up 6 percent in February

Florida Today: Northrop Grumman plans huge expansion for Brevard County

Pensacola Woman Charged with Stealing More Than $68,000 in Public Assistance

CFO Atwater has announced the arrest of Rose Gamlin, 55, from Pensacola, on two counts of public assistance fraud and one count of identity theft resulting in $68,501.85 of stolen Medicaid and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funds from her sister who lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

“This case highlights two ever-growing problems in our state – identity theft and public assistance fraud,” CFO Atwater said. “Identity theft can happen to anyone and often times the predator can be someone you know. By continuing to raise awareness about ID theft and public assistance fraud, we can help protect Floridians from financial ruin. I am proud of our investigators who work to keep dollars from those who cheat the system and help protect those who need it most.”Public Assistance Fraud

An investigation by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Public Assistance Fraud and Escambia County Sheriff’s Office determined that Rose Gamlin stole the identity of Mary Bawyn Boutwell, 53, in 1996 while Bawyn lived in Wisconsin. Bawyn tried to apply for public assistance in Wisconsin and was informed that someone using her name and Social Security number was already receiving public assistance benefits in Florida.

Gamlin obtained a Social Security card using Boutwell’s birth certificate. For the past 17 years, Gamlin received public assistance benefits as Mary Bawyn Boutwell and also received her sister’s income tax refunds.

Gamlin previously was charged with fraud in 1996 and sentenced to four years in prison. Her husband was the victim of an accidental shooting in their home during that same year and several years later, Gamlin’s boyfriend also was found dead. Gamlin also faked her own suicide in 1997.

Anyone with information about these or any other incidents of suspected public assistance fraud is asked to call 1-866-762-2237. Citizens who provide tips can remain anonymous.

Florida's Bottom Line on Financial Health

Florida Economy 2012

Read the latest issue of Florida's Bottom Line, a quarterly publication about Florida's financial health, to get expert commentary on 2012 and a look at the year ahead.

In between issues visit the companion website to Florida's Bottom Line to stay updated as new statistics emerge. The website features news and data on jobs and the economy, as well as useful resources for small businesses. Also take a look at our infographic on Florida's Economy 2012 - a visual display of the financial stats for the past year.