The Florida Democratic Disability Caucus is standing behind the Florida State Senate and encouraging them to hold their ground with their current budget after the failure of the State House to pass comprehensive healthcare reform for Florida’s citizens yesterday. On Wednesday, June 3rd, the Florida Senate passed SB 2-A, the Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange, or FHIX, program, by a 33-3 vote. Senate President Andy Gardiner along with State Senators like our own Sen. Darren Soto, Kelli Stargel and Sen. Geraldine Thompson have virtually unanimously championed Healthcare Expansion for nearly one million Floridians throughout this session, creating a bi-partisan solution to a problem we have been battling for over three years. We heard from Senators across the state time and time again that they would not allow a budget to pass with out Healthcare Expansion.
Yesterday, the house voted against Medicaid Expansion killing this bill. With only 4 republicans voting in favor. The FDDC would like to say how grateful to House Representatives like our own Bruce Antone, Randolph Bracy, John Cortes, and Victor Torres Jr. We would also like to note that we commend Representative Rene Plasencia for doing the right thing and crossing party lines with this issue. However in general the actions of the Florida House are unacceptable. Representatives like Mike Miller and Bob Cortes who cast their votes against the voters of Orange County will not go unchecked. The FDDC will be participating in activities with other organizations to makes sure voters are informed and hold their Elected Officials accountable at the ballot box.
On May 27th Democrats from across the state gathered to stand in Solidarity with the Democratic Disability Caucus. Democrats from across the state rallied in Orange County to present a unified front. Representatives from the Democratic Hispanic Caucus, Rainbow Dems, Democratic Environmental Caucus, Florida Young Democrats, Democratic Women’s Caucus and all chapters of the Florida Democratic Disability Caucus were in attendance. Orange County DDC President Tiffany Namey spoke first her message was clear. “We are asking the Senate NOT TO BACK DOWN!…Expand Healthcare NOW!” Once again we are calling for the same message and asking for others to do the same. The only way we can get Medicaid Expansion for 650,000-850,000 Floridians back on the table is for the Senate to refuse to pass a budget that does not include Medicaid Expansion.
The Florida Democratic Disability Caucus is issuing a call to action! With approximately 7 people dying every day desperate times call for desperate measures and we need you to act with us. We are asking Floridians to use hash tag #FLSenateDon’tBackDown on Facebook and Twitter, write Op-Ed pieces to the newspapers, call the television and radio stations, and most importantly call the Senate and House members and tell them as voters you will not accept a budget that does not include Healthcare Expansion.
The Florida Democratic Disability Caucus’s Role is to empower residents living with disabilities, visible and invisible, their loved ones and caretakers to have a voice in legislation and policies and to promote candidates that together will lead to healthier lives and strengthen the Constitutional ideal that all Americans are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.