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From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Access to Healthcare for Puerto Ricans in Florida

Glorimarie Rodríguez knows staying behind in Puerto Rico’s darkness would have meant certain death for her 2-year-old son. In the week before Hurricane Maria hit the island, Matthew González was in the hospital with a bleeding ulcer and complications related to his disorder that required surgeries. After the storm, most of the island lost electricity and access to running water, including hospitals. Rodríguez knew Matthew needed the care of specialists immediately, and the chances of finding that during a humanitarian crisis were slim. So like thousands of others fleeing deteriorating conditions, Rodríguez and her toddler boarded a plane to Orlando. Unlike many who have made their way to Florida and remained uninsured, Rodríguez says she was able to get Medicaid …
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Image courtesy of Kathleen Voss Woolrich, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Remembering Billy Manes and Revisiting his Charlene Dill Story

“Charlene Dill didn’t have to die”. So starts the 2014 story from then Orlando Weekly writer Billy Manes about Charlene Dill, a 32-year-old mother of three children who collapsed and died while selling vacuum cleaners in Kissimmee. She had a documented heart condition, but was unable to pay for medication after falling into the coverage gap created by Florida legislators who refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, leaving thousands without health care insurance. Manes’ sudden death last week caused us to revisit this story, not only because we miss his writing voice, but because people like Dill are still out there. During a recent visit to the Shepherd’s Hope charitable clinic in Longwood, an uninsured patient said …
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