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Health News Florida

Ballot Measure Proposed For FL Medicaid Expansion

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown at a news conference Friday in Orlando.
U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown at a news conference Friday in Orlando.

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-FL 5th District, brought a campaign to put Florida Medicaid expansion on the ballot to Central Florida on Friday.

Brown is backing Florida Health Solutions, a political action committee that’s seeking more than 680,000 signatures by Feb. 1 to get on the 2016 ballot.

“You can put it on the ballot, but the person gotta be registered and gotta vote,” Brown said. “They have to understand they have a dog in the fight. And what we’re gonna do is encourage people to soldier up, do their part.”

Brown, who was flanked by local clergy,  said they planned to bring the message to churches over the weekend. The proposed constitutional amendment expands Medicaid eligibility to 133 percent of the poverty line, or about $33,000 for a family of four.

Brown said the campaign is statewide.

“We started out in Jacksonville, we went to Miami, we’re here in Orlando, we going to Gainesville,” Brown said. “This is going to be a state initiative to put it on the ballot so the people can decide.”

The campaign has significant hurdles. The group has fewer than 90 days to collect signatures, for one. And the group has no money, according to its most recent filings.

Florida is one of 19 states that didn’t expand Medicaid, with many Republican lawmakers worried it will cost too much money. Florida has 567,000 people who would be get health insurance if Florida expanded Medicaid, according to estimates from the Kaiser Family Foundation. 

Reporter Abe Aboraya is part of WMFE in Orlando. receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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