Push Florida to Expand Medicaid!

Nearly 1 million Floridians will go without health care coverage

What’s the Situation?
Even with the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many residents in the state of Florida are still not getting medical coverage. In fact, when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the ACA, they deemed it unconstitutional for mandatory expansion of Medicaid in each state. This loophole in the ACA created a gap that could leave nearly 1 million Floridians too poor to afford health insurance through the ACA created exchanges, but also making too much to qualify for Medicaid.

Without expanding Medicaid, the program will not extend to cover the people who fall into this gap. This is wrong, immoral, and just plain fiscally irresponsible. The federal government would pick up 100% cost of expanded Medicaid in states for the next three years, and 90% after that. In Florida, rather than accept this money from the national government, our state government is seeking to use federal funds to channel money into private insurance for people whom Medicaid would normally cover. However, doing so is almost 50% more expensive and, as a result, more ineffective than simply expanding Medicaid.

What complicates the problem further is that most public hospitals and health clinics had their funding cut for uncompensated care because the ACA assumed most people would now fall under the insurance exchanges. However, with a failure to expand Medicaid, these individuals without insurance will more and more turn to public health facilities who have even fewer resources to care for them.

Our goal is to ultimately achieve a single-payer health care system in the United States. We want a system that provides quality health care for every citizen and recognizes health care as a human right. Reaching out to other organizations, being active and tackling problems on the way towards single-payer is how we will achieve that goal. Expanding Medicaid in Florida is one such step towards universal health care and will help nearly 1 million Floridians gain coverage. It’s irresponsible and unjust for our state government to leave so many people out in the cold, and it perfectly reflects the current state of our society not viewing health care as a human right.

Quick Facts
Florida has the second-highest percentage of residents without health insurance in the US: 24.8% of residents younger than 65 (3.8 million people).
Expanding Medicaid could provide coverage for nearly 1 million Floridians.
Implementing private insurance is 50% more expensive than expanding Medicaid.
Just Health Care is finding organizations in Gainesville and across Florida who will help to pressure the state government to accept federal funds for public Medicaid.

Get Involved and Speak Out!
Just Health Care is reaching out to other like-minded organizations here in Gainesville and across the state. We want to build a broad network of groups based around this issue. If you’re in an organization you think might be interested in getting involved, or you yourself want to get involved, come out to Just Health Care meetings and volunteer! Similarly, you can speak to people you know in these organizations and find out if their group might be interested in working with Just Health Care to expand Medicaid in the state of Florida!

Just Health Care meets monlthy, generally on the second Tuesday of every month at 7 PM in Downtown Gainesville at 14 E. University Ave., #204. For more information, call (352) 375-2832.

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