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Recent Florida Healthcare Study

Healthcare is top issue for Florida voters.

On March 24, representatives from the Florida Institute for Reform and Empowerment and the Alliance for a Just Society released a healthcare study and, well, the news wasn’t good. In addition to the nearly one million people who fall into the gap separating the present anemic Medicaid system in Florida and the federal Affordable Care Act exchange that’s been around for five years, there are other issues: access to doctors for minority communities, inexperience in minority communities with using insurance, language barriers and website issues. Add the failure to expand Medicaid, a failure championed by the Florida Legislature and its governor, and you have a huge mess. A 10-state comparison showed that the states with Medicaid expansion were improving the breadth of coverage among their populations. States like Florida are lagging, by seeming political intention.

“We think it’s unacceptable to play politics with people’s lives,” Lee Ann Hall, executive director for the Alliance says.

F.I.R.E. civic engagement director Amy Ritter says that the group is planning to leverage recent concerns about federal Low Income Pool dollars and how they are reflected in the competing budgets of the state House and Senate, as well as the March 23 report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that there was a $7.4 billion increase in hospital reimbursements for the uninsured in 2014.
“We are not letting up and we’re really pushing the legislature to address the issue,” Ritter says .The healthcare issue is indeed a work in progress.


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