My family and I were fortunate to maintain our healthcare insurance coverage through the Great Recession. But many Floridians were not so lucky. Many people working part-time jobs or the self-employed in our district, never have had any sort of medical coverage.
Many of us were downsized and lost all our benefits.
Now that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, more Floridians have the access to healthcare. Some, for the first time in their lives.
If Florida Governor Rick Scott and the 2013 legislature had been conscientious enough as public officials to expand Medicaid in Florida, even more Floridians would have had access.
My goal is to vigorously pursue the expansion of the Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act to bring healthcare to the greatest percentage of residents of District 53 and the state as possible,
The unconscionable decision not to expand Medicaid resulted in Florida turning away $50 billion in medical benefits that would have covered the needs of hundreds of thousands of Floridians over the next ten years.
To those who say the program is too expensive, the old adage "an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of the cure", needs to be repeated over and over along with an appeal to their basic humanity. If indeed fiscal responsibility to the citizens is the only yardstick by which we measure public policy, then indeed expanding Medicaid under Obamacare, is the way to go.
Effective management of chronic diseases - such as diabetes, and hypertension, for example - holds more cost-benefit in the long run than treating the disease only through the emergency room at the end stage. In short, kidney failure, blindness, amputations, stroke represent a greater burden on all of our medical costs, than the proper, early diagnosis and treatment with medication.
This is a fact inconvenient only to insurance companies that dodge even the notion of covering people with pre-existing conditions because if cuts into their profit margins.
But the fiscal considerations to the taxpayers are only half the reason. There are those who would end Obamacare now, repeal it. What do they propose to do with those who are receiving medical care for the first time? What do they say to the child suffering with diabetes whose father lost his job? Do those who shout loudest "repeal Obamacare" actually propose stripping the newly enrolled of their benefits? And where do the loudest cries for repeal come from? From those corporations who make their money by collecting premiums from young healthy people who don't go to the doctor, thereby minimizing their payout in the form of clams. With the advent of the Affordable Care Act, these entities are required to cover EVERYONE the sick and the well alike, thereby paying out more in claims, cutting into their profits. And who are these corporations? The insurance companies. And, as it so happens, guess who has been taking a large chunk of his donations from the insurance companies, all along, State Representative John Tobia. (Link to see)