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Magic Johnson pitches HIV funding and health care contract renewal

March 13th, 2017 by Mike Vasilinda

Basketball legend Magic Johnson invited himself to the state Capitol today. He was there to talk AIDS funding, and renewal of a medicaid contract for companies in which he has invested.

Standing next to lawmakers, Magic Johnson was indeed bigger than life. In the Democratic Caucus he talked about the successes of treating aids after he came out with the disease more than 25 years ago.

“That sorta had them say, maybe I can come out to my family, that I do have HIV” Johnson told Senate Democrats.

In the meeting, Sen. Kevin Rader told Johnson of pending GOP cuts in aids research.

“When you go speak them at ten o’clock, tell them I know you cut a million dollars in HIV/Aids research from the University of Miami and please put it back in.”

“Okay. okay” responded Johnson.

But Johnson barely mentioned aids in a meeting with the Senate President.

“We have been both efficient an effective at the same time” Johnson said of his health care companies.

Johnson is an investor in two heath care plans: Simply Healthcare and Amerigroup. He was in the Capitol pitching a contract renewal. CEO Lordes Rivas says since the state awarded the companies a contract, based on Johnson’s involvement, dental care for poor kids has increased dramatically.

“The access to caress been as low as 28 percent” said Rivas.  “The national medium is fifty percent. and we are now at forty-eight percent.”

Johnson told us part of the magic isn’t just his fame, but community involvement.

“Once you are in the community, they know you, they trust you, they become loyal to your company or what you are providing them” said the former Lakers star.

And what Johnson was proving at the Capitol is that star power can get you in the game, but hard work keeps you there.

Johnson’s companies are in their fourth year of a five year contract to provide managed care in South Florida.

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