- AHCA Secretary Simone Marstiller is stepping down from her post
- Marstiller previously served as Secretary of Juvenile Justice, and as an appeals court judge
- A new Florida ban on agency heads working as lobbyists takes effect December 31 and could be a factor in the timing
- DeSantis and Marstiller made the announcement on Twitter
One of the first casualties of Florida’s looming lobbying ban appears to be Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Simone Marstiller, a post she’s held since February of 2021. Her retirement from public service was announced by Governor Ron DeSantis on Monday via Twitter.
DeSantis posted on Twitter that Marstiller “led the way by driving transparency & accountability in health care, fighting for patients’ rights & standing against vax mandates. She demonstrated an unwavering commitment to Floridians — I thank her for her service & wish her the best in retirement.”
While Marstiller may be leaving the public sphere, her experience at AHCA and her previous work as a judge will undoubtedly make her an attractive candidate for other work in the legal or health care fields. Martstiller previously served as Secretary of Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice. Prior to that, she served as a judge on the 1st District Court of Appeal, as well as a stint as Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
Such a strong resume in public service may explain the timing of her departure. A strict new lobbying ban is about to take effect that will bar agency secretaries and executive directors of state agencies from lobbying state officials in Florida for six years. For someone like Marstiller with high-level agency experience, that is a long time to be banned from leveraging her work experience in order to make a living.
Marstiller’s departure from AHCA means DeSantis will need to move quickly to appoint a new secretary to the agency responsible for administering Florida’s large and sprawling Medicaid program, especially with a new legislative session looming and with the agency in the midst of a complex process of awarding multi-billion dollar contracts to Medicaid managed-care providers who will serve millions of Florida families in the Medicaid program.