Despite the American Rescue Plan Act offering a $3.5 billion incentive to the state of Florida, lawmakers declined to expand Medicaid in Florida during the 2021 session.
Join the Health Care for Florida coalition!
Florida Policy Institute is a proud member of the Health Care for Florida coalition, a group of Florida organizations and individuals dedicated to improving the health of Florida communities by advocating for Medicaid Expansion and the protecting and the strengthening of the Medicaid program.
States that expand Medicaid are better positioned to respond to COVID-19 and prevent the economic downturn from worsening access to care, financial security, health outcomes, and health disparities, according to a report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). Florida should act swiftly to implement expansion to help close to 700,000 Floridians gain coverage and weather the crisis.
Many Floridians who could gain coverage through expansion are people at elevated risk from the virus, whether because they face a high risk of becoming infected or a high risk of serious illness if they do.
For example, in Florida alone, expanding Medicaid could cover more than 113,000 uninsured “essential or frontline workers,” people whose jobs likely require them to show up for work during the pandemic, regardless of stay-at-home orders or other restrictions, such as hospital workers, home health aides, and grocery store workers.
“Being my son JJ’s carer means financially I fall into the ‘coverage’ gap, so unless state leaders expand Medicaid in Florida I have no chance of getting healthcare. I used to worry about staying fit enough to continue lifting, bathing, dressing, feeding a teenager with disabilities (my son is in a wheelchair and uses a computer to communicate), but now I’m focused on simply surviving. I thought that caring for a child with such severe disabilities was the hardest challenge I’d ever have to deal with—that was before I faced a global pandemic without health care. It feels like state leaders have decided I’m expendable and they’re willing to sacrifice my health because of political pressures. Not only have I found myself without health care but my son has been on the iBudget waiting list (which would support the expenses that go along with his disability) since he was 3. He is now 16. That’s a double whammy for my family considering Florida drastically underfunds that program as well, and an entire decade where my family has directly suffered due to a lack of bold leadership from state policymakers. Without Medicaid expansion, families like ours needlessly suffer. Our lives should be worth more than this.” – Alison H. & JJ