This November, Floridians will be asked to cast their votes for positions such as Governor, state senator and state representative. The decisions made by voters about these elected positions will directly impact critical consumer health issues in Florida like access to health care, affordability of health insurance, the opioid crisis, and health equity.
As candidates travel the state or their districts asking for support, voters must consider their stances on several important issues including health care. To help health care voters make their decisions, we put together this list of questions for voters to ask of candidates about five timely and pressing consumer health care issues.
These questions can be used at town halls and candidate forums or posed to candidates via social media or in one-on-one conversations.
Closing the Coverage Gap
Over 567,000 Floridians make too little to receive financial help to buy private health insurance but do not qualify for Medicaid, meaning they fall into the Medicaid coverage gap. Many of the families who fall in the gap are hard-working people who work in industries that make up the backbone of our state: tourism, food service, and childcare. Do you support using federal funds to close the Medicaid coverage gap and offer affordable health coverage to 567,000 Floridians? Please explain.
The Florida Policy Institute estimates that Florida would have saved $501,950,000 in 2018 alone if state lawmakers chose to expand Medicaid. Do you have a plan to reduce health care costs and lower the uninsurance rate for consumers in Florida? Please explain.
Florida Health Insurance Marketplace
The federal government has expanded insurance companies’ ability to sell short-term plans that do not cover key services like mental health treatment or prescription drugs. These plans will increase health care costs, severely lack transparency, and roll back consumer protections that many families in our state depend on. How do you think Florida should regulate these plans?
Opioid/substance use crisis
In 2016, about 12 Floridians died each day from drug overdoses and thousands of Floridians currently live with substance use disorders. To slow this crisis, a broad spectrum of strategies will be needed from prevention and early intervention to expanded access to treatment. If elected, what would you do to address the state’s substance use crisis?
Communities left behind
Florida didn’t expand Medicaid coverage for certain low-income adults, and now nearly 40 percent of those adults are uninsured and live in rural areas (Georgetown University Center for Children and Families). If elected, what will you do ensure that rural communities have adequate access to quality, affordable health care?
People of color in Florida have shorter life expectancy, higher rates of chronic disease, and are more likely to be uninsured and live in medically underserved areas. The causes of these outcomes are complex and linked to reduced access to quality education, fewer economic opportunities, discrimination, and other social and economic factors. As (Governor/State Rep/other position title), how would you address the health disparities experienced by people of color in Florida?
Defending health care gains
Over the past two years Congress has repeatedly attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and slash federal Medicaid funding that our state relies on, despite the fact that 74 percent of the public view the Medicaid program favorably. If elected, will you support/continue to support the program in the face of threats? Please explain.