The latest resources and news on Close The Gap will be posted here. Check in regularly to see what’s new!
The South Florida Business Journal: Here’s how many people could lose Obamacare coverage in your district. Click here to understand how a repeal of the Affordable Care Act will impact your Florida district. Or click here to see a slideshow presentation on the repeal’s impact by district.
Health Care in Florida 2017 and Beyond: Right now about 1.5 million Floridians have individual policies under the Affordable Care Act. Florida has continued to refuse Medicaid expansion that would have provided coverage for over 750,000 Floridians, a benefit of over 5 billion dollars. To find out more, click here for an in depth presentation on Health Care in Florida 2017 and Beyond, that reviews what we currently have with the Affordable Care Act and what is involved with Repeal and Replace.
IN THE NEWS:
Click Here to view a Letter to the Editor written by the President of the LWV St. Petersburg Area, Dr. Julie Kessel. This Letter was published on May 16, 2016 in the Tampa Bay Times.
Click Here to view a report recently released by Florida CHAIN about the impact the lack of health care expansion has had on people in Miami-Dade.
“After the Ruling: A Consumer’s Guide” by Kaiser Health News
- Tell your story, and learn more about the ACA, Repeal and Replace, and the healthcare gap, by clicking here.
- Contact your Legislators: Call (850) 488-1234 or
- email your Florida Representative, or
- email your Florida Senator.
- Contact Governor Scott by calling (850) 717-9337 or e-mail the Governor here.
- Sign the petition to urge the Legislature to expand healthcare by clicking here.
- Urge the Governor and Legislators to accept the federal funds to extend health care coverage to help offset the expected $2 billion in cuts that are expected this year.
- Urge them to accept the federal funds to protect and grow our Florida economy, businesses and hospitals, jobs, and public health and help defray the cost of transferring uncovered health costs to those with insurance.
- Urge them to keep our money working for us in Florida and “Close the Gap” for a healthier Florida.
1.5 million Floridians have individual policies under the Affordable Care Act. See what healthcare looks like in 2017 and beyond in this in-depth presentation.
In early 2017, the Health and Humans Services for Florida webpage detailing the full impact of the ACA to Floridians– including information about Medicaid, Medicare, and Employer Coverage– was removed. The information that was once freely available has been preserved by the League here.
Click here to view a glossary of Health Care terms, created by League Member Nancy Gau.
Click here to download the League’s 2016 PowerPoint that offers a clear overview and explanation of Florida’s Coverage Gap.
Also check out the League of Women Voters of Arizona’s booklet “Health Care Issues Behind Health Care Reform.”
Nationally, the League has long advocated for health care reform and was a supporter of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which was signed into federal law by President Obama on March 30, 2010. With the second highest number of uninsured in America, and one of the states with the highest rate of individual signups since passage, the Florida League has been working to encourage timely implementation since the law passed with a focus on extending affordable healthcare to our lowest income working Floridians.
Florida League Launches Campaign for a Healthier Florida
For the past two years, the League has been advocating in the Florida legislature for extension of
healthcare to our low income, working Floridians. In 2014, the League launched our “Campaign for a Healthier Florida: Closing the Gap”. The League has hosted a number of news conferences with local Chambers of Commerce, including those in St. Pete and Tampa. We have issued numerous action alerts to contact both the Governor and key legislative leaders.
Just recently, we hosted a press conference with Florida Legal Services, and invited national experts to share what other states are doing. Here in brief are our key points as to why accepting Federal dollars available to make healthcare more affordable:
- Florida needs a unique, flexible Florida solution that will keep Florida’s hard-earned dollars here: Twenty eight other states have already accepted available federal funds to help extend healthcare in their states to their lowest income working citizens. With the highest rate of uninsured in the country, Florida would extend health care coverage to is low-income working poor if it would accept $51 billion in federal funds through the Affordable Care Act.
- A Healthy Florida Works: In 2015, we saw business, hospitals and communities step forward under the banner of ” A Healthy Florida Works” to propose their own programs and ideas. In January of 2015, the Florida Chamber announced their support for taking federal funds under specific conditions and framework.
- Impending cuts of other Federal dollars make it even more critical that legislation be passed this year.
Florida’s Low-Income Pool (LIP) and Medicaid Disproportionate Hospital Program (DSH) are very complex federal matching fund programs that bring more than $2 billion into the state annually. LIP funds will cease as of June 30, 2015; and DSH funds will be reduced. For more information on their impact on Florida and specific regions, see Florida Legal Services’ reports here.
- These losses could be averted or offset by the Florida Legislature accepting $51 billion in federal funds over ten years to extend health care coverage for low-income working families falling in the coverage gap (less than 138% Federal Poverty Level). It also will provide help for those struggling with mental health disorders.
- Accepting federal funds will more than offset these losses to the Florida budget by bringing $5 billion to the state annually. Without the federal funds, the legislature will have a more than $1 million shortfall in the state budget that be filled from the General Fund and result in severe cuts to other services throughout the state.
- Accepting this funding will build a healthier and a more profitable Florida. It will help save lives by keeping our safety-net hospitals and facilities solvent and able to provide both compensated and uncompensated care (insured and uninsured). In addition it will build a growing health care industry (including community infrastructure and jobs) to support it, save businesses and the insured from escalating premium and healthcare costs (estimated to by 8% per year, $1200 per person) to reimburse for uncompensated care, build healthier communities and Florida economy.
- The League has not signed on to any of these proposals at this time but we are pleased to see business and bi-partisan coalitions of political and community leaders urging action. We will examine proposals for our endorsement as the process moves forward. Creative ideas and problem solving is key if we are to see the Legislature fashion and pass a Florida specific plan this year.
Let’s keep Florida’s hard-earned money in Florida. The aforementioned $51 billion is Florida tax money that was assessed with the intent to return to the state. It is now flowing to other states.
Click here to visit the Kaiser Family Foundation website and see enrollment rates in the healthcare market place for your local area.