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Florida Legislative Session Ends With No Changes to Make Health Care Affordable

New report finds that many Floridians are struggling to afford health care.

Tallahassee, FL – This year, the Florida legislature budgeted nearly $49 billion in taxpayer funding for health care-related spending. Unfortunately, the funded priorities are likely to have a minimal impact of making health care more affordable and accessible for Floridians. A recent survey from Perry Undem revealed why this will be disappointing for Floridians.

The survey found that a significant number of Floridians are still dealing with affordability as a barrier to care. Among other notable conclusions, the survey of 764 Floridians 18 and older found that:

  • More than 4 in 10 Floridians are delaying or skipping healthcare services and facing financial hardship because of healthcare costs.

  • Half of Floridians (51%) aren’t very confident they can pay for usual healthcare services. Younger adults, women, Black adults, and adults with low incomes are among the most worried about paying for care.

  • More than 4 in 10 Floridians (43%) have faced financial hardship as a result of medical bills. This includes being contacted by a collection agency (18%), using up all of their savings (16%), being unable to pay for basic necessities (14%), and having to take out a loan to pay off medical debt (14%).

At a policy level, there is still a lot to be done to make health care accessible, especially for low-income Floridians. State legislators continue to reject the ACA’s Medicaid expansion provision which would cover nearly 800,000 people while saving the state $200 million a year. Interestingly, the survey also asked Floridians about solutions and found that:

  • Six in ten Floridians (61%) want big, fundamental changes to the health system.

  • Floridians overwhelmingly support (81%) state leaders in Florida making health insurance more affordable.

When asked about specific healthcare reform, majorities of Floridians support several policies. Most support limiting what hospitals can charge for services (84%), expanding Medicaid so more people can qualify (78%), eliminating or capping health insurance deductibles (82%), lowering insurance premiums via tax credits (77%), creating a public health coverage option (74%), and moving to a Medicare-for-all system (62%).

We have a long way to go as a state to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to live full and healthy lives. It starts with our leaders better understanding the health care challenges that Floridians face. Share your health care story with us and help speak for millions of Floridians facing the high cost of health care.


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