Today marked the beginning of Health Care For Florida Now’s “Take Action on Health Expansion!” online ThunderClap campaign.
ThunderClap describes itself as “the first-ever crowdspeaking platform that helps people be heard by saying something together. It allows a single message to be mass-shared, flash mob-style, so it rises above the noise of your social networks.”
The new campaign launched today at High Noon on facebook, twitter, etc. is “organized by Health Care For Florida Now, “a coalition of partners from across the state and across various sectors of Florida, including health care providers, community organizations, consumers, and advocates.”
The goal is to “educate Floridians about new health care coverage opportunities, to engage public support to protect, implement, and support the Affordable Care Act, and to advocate for Health Care Expansion in Florida, which would provide coverage for 1.2 million uninsured Floridians and create over 70,000 jobs in the state.”
With state legislators returning to Tallahassee for initial committee meetings this week, Floridians are being asked to “Call 866-443-1844 and tell Florida's lawmakers' it is time to expand health care!"
While the Affordable Care Act (better known as “Obamacare”) is already law and helping hundreds of thousands of Floridians, GOP Gov. Rick Scott and Republicans in the state House of Representatives continue to impede its progress.
The broad-based Health Care For Florida Now coalition hopes its new campaign will galvanize public opposition to that obstruction, allowing for easier roll-out of Florida's new federal health care insurance exchange starting October 1.
Meanwhile, with the FL House controlled by of some the state’s most conservative Republicans, expansion of its Medicaid program remains blocked.
Over $50 billion in federal funds was rejected, preventing over a million of Florida’s nearly 4 million uninsured to get covered at no state expense for the first 3 years, then at 10% of the total cost thereafter.
Benefits of Medicaid expansion would include:
- 1.2 million uninsured Floridians become eligible for Medicaid
- Middle class taxpayers stop paying for uninsured Emergency Room care
- Over 70,000 new FL jobs created over next 6 years
- Over $70 billion positive economic impact on FL economy
- Over $2.5 billion in tax relief for FL businesses
Only time and the level of public outcry and pressure on state legislators will tell if these and other benefits of Health Expansion will be felt in Florida, or not.