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Florida Kidcare

Lawmakers had hoped to get enough signatures to force a vote on whether to fully fund a 100,000 plus waiting list for Kidcare insurance.

House minority leader Doug Wiles is reading one of thousands of e-mails asking lawmakers to fully fund the Kidcare waiting list.

"It would be criminal for the legislature to medically neglect thousands of Florida's children," says Doug Wiles.

Each e-mail represents a personal story or frustration with a system that allows kids to struggle without health insurance, but an unusual effort on the part of democratic legislators failed to bring in enough votes for a special session to tackle the issue.

Senate president Jim King was one of the no votes.

"I fully endorse the program and I think the legislature will actually allocate the funds but every time someone has an issue, to call back in a special session is just the wrong way to go about doing this," says King.

Jeb Bush didn't have to vote on the issue, but we asked him what's wrong with spending money the state already has to eliminate the Kidcare waiting list. He says it would just make matters worse come July when the new budget kicks in.

"That's the problem with government is, we'll worry about July when July comes, and there's a big deficit and either we raise taxes or cut people off rolls," says Gov. Jeb Bush.

With many of these ballots not even returned to the Secretary of State's office, the question becomes was it even worth taking this dramatic step.

Doug Wiles says yes.

"It's taken on a life of its own and I think it should as one of the most important issues, a real defining issue, not only of this administration but in what we do as a legislature," says Doug Wiles.

The proof will be this spring when lawmakers must decide whether to act on the e-mails that keep pouring in, telling them to make Kidcare a priority.

Jeb Bush says his proposed budget includes enough money to get 10,500 children off the Kidcare waiting list, and it's possible more money will become available to help.


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