When it was passed in 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) included a provision extending Medicaid to include people earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.
When the ACA was challenged in the National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (2012) case (a case with Florida roots, naturally), the Supreme Court ruled that most of the ACA was constitutional, but that, because Medicaid is administered and partially funded at the state level, the individual states could not be required to participate in Medicaid expansion.
The majority of the states chose to participate. Florida was among the states that refused.
Florida is now one of 14 states that did not implement Medicaid expansion when it first went into effect in 2014 and has not chosen to do so since.
According to The Miami Herald, Medicaid expansion would decrease the rate of uninsured in Florida from 15.7 to 11 percent, extending insurance to at least 660,000 more Floridians.
However, the results of the 2018 midterm elections are highly unlikely to move the state government in this direction.
But there is something we can do!
Enter the self-executing initiative
As we saw from the success of Issue 4 in the 2018 elections, self-executing ballot initiatives can succeed in effecting democratic reforms where the lobbyist-fueled conservatism of state governments like ours has failed. By using precisely this approach, Medicaid expansion has been approved by voters in Idaho, Nebraska, Utah and Maine.
Now it is Florida’s turn. A coalition group called Florida Decides Healthcare has initiated a petition drive to get Medicaid expansion on the ballot in 2020, with the goal of collecting 100,000 signatures by February 21, 2019.
Are you in?
Here’s what to do:
Print it out double-sided.
Sign it in ink (no electronic signatures allowed).
Hand it to me, Martha, if you normally see me or my mailbox IRL, or mail it to:
New Florida Majority
c/o Corryn Freeman
10800 Biscayne Blvd Suite 1050
Miami, FL 33161
Unfortunately, we cannot accept electronic copies of the completed petitions.
Print multiple copies and save this link so that you can repeat with people in your network!
For additional information on the MedEx campaign, or to become an organizational partner, contact Angie Nixon.