January’s 30-day window to sign up for KidCare insurance turned into a bureaucratic nightmare for frustrated parents and overburdened KidCare workers trying to sort thousands of applications.
Now the program is serving 124,000 fewer children than it was last year, which was not the plan.
A bill speeding through the Capitol would reopen KidCare to families year-round.
Rep. Shelly Vana thinks it was wrong to change it in the first place, but now she just wants to make it right.
Rep Shelly Vana, (D) West Palm Beach, says, "At the end of the day, if we don’t give access to health care to our most vulnerable babies and children, we don’t have a lot to be proud of, so we need to make sure we do the best we can."
Some of the state’s most powerful legislators are now admitting that their well-intentioned efforts to bring more accountability to KidCare had some serious unintended consequences.
Millions of state and federal dollars were left on the table when families failed to sign up, and their kids were forced to go without health insurance.
We asked House Speaker Allan Bense what he would say to the families who got lost in the red tape
Allan Bense says, "We think we need to encourage as much as we can, and if folks fell through the cracks, I'm sorry, I apologize."
Karen Woodall lobbies lawmakers on behalf of low income families. She says she won’t play the blame game as long as lawmakers get it right this time.
Karen says, "It truly has been a bipartisan effort to fix it, so we’re looking forward to everyone singing Kumbaya and getting kids enrolled."
If the bill passes, KidCare expects at least 100,000 more children will get the health care they need. House Speaker Allan Bense says he expects the bill expanding KidCare to year-round enrollment will pass the House and Senate shortly, and he hopes the governor will sign it quickly.