Florida Must Expand Medicaid Eligibility

A group called “Florida Decides Healthcare, Inc.,” is leading the initiative to expand Medicaid in Florida through a proposed Constitutional Amendment. Please stop by the Charlotte County Democratic Party’s office and sign their petition. If enough signatures are received, Medicaid expansion as a Constitutional Amendment will appear on the November 2020 ballot.

Republicans—who have controlled the governor’s office and both legislative chambers for nearly all of the past two decades—have shown no interest in making about 660,000 uninsured adults eligible for the government insurance program for the working poor. Failure to expand coverage has hurt the working poor and hospitals that cater mostly to uninsured patients.

Remember that under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), low-income workers receive federal subsidies to buy insurance. But there’s a “coverage gap” for some who earn less than the poverty level but don’t currently qualify for Medicaid. Obamacare allowed states to expand Medicaid eligibility to cover those people but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could opt out of Medicaid expansion. Florida opted out and so our poorest residents are uninsured.

Thus far, 37 states have expanded Medicaid eligibility. Fourteen states have not. That number was 19 before the November election but Maine, Nebraska, Utah, Idaho, and Virginia joined the expansion list.

Who would be covered by Medicaid expansion in Florida? Those whose income is 138 percent of the federal poverty level or below (that equates to an individual income of $16,753 and a household of four with incomes of $34,638.) The expansion will mainly benefit adults without children who mostly are ineligible for the program today.

There are only 14 states that have not yet expanded Medicaid and Florida is one of them. Let’s end that by putting this Constitutional Amendment on the ballot in 2020. Please sign the petition and ask five friends to do the same! Let’s get this done!!!