AHCA Secretary Simone Marstiller Retires: ‘Unwavering Commitment to Floridians’

November 21, 2022 Updated 3:14 PM ET

AHCA Sec. Simone Marstiller gives remarks in support of new FL 15 week abortion ban.
AHCA Sec. Simone Marstiller gives remarks in support of new FL 15 week abortion ban.

TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – Florida Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Simone Marstiller is going into retirement, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced.

“[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,” DeSantis said.

Marstiller was appointed by the governor in February 2021. “Simone has top-notch credentials, is a former judge and knows how to build and motivate a team to achieve results. Shevaun has steadily risen through the ranks and secured historic wins for the people of Florida, paired with her background in social work and health care, I have no doubt she will build upon our foundation to serve Florida’s most vulnerable,” DeSantis remarked on her appointment.

The secretary worked with the DeSantis Administration to push key elements of their agenda, like urging the Biden Administration to drop vaccine mandates, trying to lower prescription drug costs, and supporting the 15 week abortion ban.

“The President’s diagnosis confirms the science: although the COVID-19 vaccine reduces the risk of hospitalization, it does not prevent transmission or symptomatic disease,” Marstiller wrote in a letter to President Joe Biden over the summer.

The letter noted published reports by the U.K. Government which said the risk reduction attributed to the vaccine “significantly” decreases within two months of receiving a booster.

“Despite these incontrovertible facts, your agency continues to enforce its arbitrary ’emergency’ rule mandating that health care workers be vaccinated for COVID-19 or lose their jobs.”

Marstiller took fire from Democrats in April when DeSantis signed the 15 week abortion ban into law. She told her story of her experience with abortion decades ago, but Florida Democrat State Rep. Anna Eskamani preferred Marstiller remain quiet on the topic.

“[I] fell pregnant at 19, and went to a physician to confirm that,” she said. “Because of how I looked, right, certain assumptions were made, and I was handed a referral for abortion.”

“I didn’t get a conversation or counseling about pre-natal care – none of that,” she went on. “I talked to my mother about it, and we decided – no, no, not gonna go that way. Kept my baby.”

“When that yelling, screaming baby was born, and they laid her on my chest, and she fell immediately silent – I knew, I knew, that I had done the right thing.”

In response, Eskamani took to Twitter to lambast Marstiller for telling her story.

“Wow. The Secretary of AHCA who oversees abortion providers in Florida is currently speaking about her anti-abortion stance. How is that appropriate?! She’s a public administrator not a politician!” she exclaimed to her followers.

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