Florida’s Healthcare Crisis

Florida’s Healthcare Crisis

When the Affordable Care Act first began to be enacted in many states in the union, Florida, along with several other states, lagged behind.  Its state legislature rejected the opportunity to establish its own health insurance market choices, and did not accept the tens of millions of dollars that the federal government offered the state in order to expand coverage for Florida’s most underserved populations… in spite of the fact that they had the second highest percentage of uninsured citizens in the country, in part due to their high poverty rate.

Not only did Florida lawmakers not come up with their own insurance plans, they seemed determined not to make it easy on those who wished to purchase health insurance in Florida from one of the federal plans.  ‘Navigators’, or those who are assigned to help people sign up for insurance under the new federal plans, were barred from state health offices as those from other ‘businesses’ were, meaning that they had to search to set up shop in other locations.  This was an attempt to make these navigators appear less legitimate to those who might have wished to seek their aid, a kind of protest against their very presence.  With much of Florida’s population being elderly, and many with English as their second language, these interpreters of the new plans were vital to their success.  This appears to have been a deliberate sabotage of the new plans, to the detriment of the taxpayer.

Florida health insurance is now in a rough state.  With the state having rejected extra money, it puts the state in a difficult situation.  Florida has high underserved populations such as the elderly and a high percentage of first-generation immigrants struggling to make a living.  Both populations are more likely to become ill or injured due to their circumstances, and need better coverage in order to live happy lives that don’t hang on the hinge of avoiding accident or illness that is impossible to truly sidestep.

Federal subsidies that help fund hospitals for low-income patients have expired this past June, shutting off over 1 million in aid to Florida.  This was part of the reason that the expansion of Medicaid was offered to Floridians in the first place.  However, when the state government rejected the offer of additional funds, because it was linked to Obamacare, with which they disagreed in principle, this cut off funding to hospitals and healthcare institutions across the state.

Other states, such as New York, have accepted the funds for Medicare and are not facing this kind of crisis.  When the politics of the day gets in the way of common sense, it is time to change policy.  When Florida lawmakers get their dander up and believe the honor of their party is at stake, they stop thinking about the well-being of their constituents and start thinking about how they seem to other members of their party.  It can become a question of who can shout the loudest or who can stand their ground longest.  In the end, it is those who seek health insurance coverage in Florida, can visit https://floridainsurancequotes.net/health-insurance-quote/.

Luckily, very recently a ruling was passed by the Supreme Court stating that those who are poverty-stricken will still get their insurance premium supplements, regardless of whether the state has made any provisions towards this or not.  This is a source of relief for many of those who are most at risk in the population.  However, Florida lawmakers remain resistant to assisting its population, if that means accepting help from the federal government, despite the dire straits in which it finds itself.