After the success of Amendment 4 giving ex-felons the right to vote, it is time to remedy another Florida injustice, the inability of low income Floridians to obtain health insurance coverage. At present no adult without dependent children can obtain Medicaid insurance coverage. Those with dependent children can get it if their income is less than 33 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, amounting to $6857 for a family of three. About 400,000 people are in this coverage gap.
Not only is this unjust, it is irrational because the federal government would pay for 90 percent of the cost of expansion. Now Florida taxpayers are subsidizing Medicaid expansion in other states.
A petition for a constitutional amendment to provide Medicaid coverage to adults with incomes less than 138 percent of the Federal Poverty level has been prepared by a statewide group which includes Planned Parenthood, SEIU, Florida Voices for Health and the Fairness Project (which helped four states’ successful Medicaid Expansion petitions in the last election). Locally, the Alachua County Labor Coalition and National Women’s Liberation are involved.
Volunteers are needed to circulate the petition as we are trying to collect 5,000 signatures in our Congressional District by the end of February. Please email ACLC (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit www.bit.ly/medexsignup.