Democrats at the capitol are taking the historic step of attempting to force a special session to put money immediately into the Florida Kidcare program. They think the $30 million the governor wants to put in next year's budget for the health insurance program will be too little, too late.
Lindsay Phillips' is one of the lucky ones. Her little boy Blaine is enrolled in Florida's Kidcare insurance program.
“My employer doesn't provide health insurance so it was very important to get him on there because he has special health care needs that needed to be taken care of right away,” says mother Lindsay Phillips.
There are more than 100,000 other Florida children on a waiting list for the Kidcare program. Jeb Bush has proposed pumping $30 million more into Kidcare to take 10,500 kids off the list.
Democrats say that's not nearly enough. Democrats gathered enough petitions to invoke a seldom-used law requiring the secretary of state to poll the legislature. Lawmakers will be forced to go on the record either supporting or opposing a special session for Kidcare.
Jeb Bush insists the state is already doing its part.
“I would look at it from the perspective of where we were and where we are now, which shows that there are significant increases in the number of children in the various programs that we lump together and call Kidcare," says Gov. Bush.
Jeb Bush is also concerned there may be kids on the waiting list who have access to private insurance and he doesn't want them getting ahead of kids with more desperate needs.
Advocates insist all 100,000 kids on that waiting list have already been carefully screened for eligibility, and unless lawmakers come up with the cash, taxpayers could face even higher bills should the children fall sick before they can get into the program.
The democrats are inviting citizens to log on to www.floridachain.org/kidcare/ to let their legislators know how they feel about the Kidcare issue. If a special session is called, it would be next month when legislators are scheduled to be in Tallahassee for committee meetings.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.