Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Obama Care and the Florida Leg

There was an interesting presentation last night at Treasure Island Elementary.   State Rep. David Richardson spoke a bit about the upcoming legislative session in Tallahassee and what he sees as the top issues.  Richardson is all about the budget, a very good thing, and tends to see issues through that perspective.  

In his short presentation he mentioned:
  • Medicaid expansion.  Florida turned down $55bn in Federal money rather than expand Medicaid.  In those states where it was put in place, the state was able to provide Medicaid to working poor families who previously had no insurance but not here.  There will be an effort to revive it.

  • Education - There seems to be emerging bipartisan consensus that students on visa waiver whose parents may not be here legally should be able to pay in state tuition.  Since it has to do with immigration it will probably be controversial but it seems like it will pass.
  • Gambling - or better "Gaming" which is exactly the same thing.  Surprising fact that Florida is the 4th most active gaming state and there are attempts to reform and reposition this.

  • In passing, Richardson that "Medical" marijuana is going before the voters.  He offered no opinion on it.  But I will.  Just legalize it.  Forget the medical thing.  I don't use it and doubt that I will if it's legal but what a waste of time and effort.   
So then it was on to the main point.   Obamacare.  There was a presentation by Beth Swickard about the Affordable Care Act.   In essence, it showed how the different plans worked, what levels are needed to get a tax credit subsidy, what new services are covered and what has changed.  For example, no more rejection for pre-existing conditions, being a woman is no longer grounds for higher insurance premiums, small businesses can get subsidies and she did an overview of how the website at HealthCare.gov  works.  

There were a group of navigators in the room to help anyone wanting to enroll.   

Attendance was sparse.  There were maybe 15 residents?   That was a shame but still it was very useful.  

Kevin Vericker
January 28, 2014

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