Floridians Rally for Healthcare Expansion

By: Charlene Cristobal
March 18, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- At 23-years-old, Matthew Ross from Brevard County says he's only able to work a few hours everyday after an injury left him partially disabled.

"A couple of years ago I hurt my arm in a car accident, I couldn't even get my right shoulder fixed," said Ross. "And under my mom, she's disabled too, but she has Medicaid and I can't -- I don't qualify. I tried applying for Obama Care but you have to make at least $10,000 annually, and I only make just above $4,000 a year, so I don't qualify."

Matthew is one of a million people living in Florida who are stuck in a healthcare gap -- meaning they don't qualify for either government health insurance or Medicaid.

On Wednesday, Matthew and other advocates for healthcare expansion took to the Capitol to voice their concerns to lawmakers.

"Honestly, they should be embarrassed by denying people health care that are under poverty. It's a basic human right," said Pamela Bress, a legal aid from Brevard County.

Advocates say, their lives are on the line, and the House needs to do something about it.

"All Floridians deserve the security of knowing that they can see a doctor when they need to without the fear of medical bankruptcy," said Leah Barber-Heinz with Florida Chain.

Florida Chain also says that expanding healthcare would be cost neutral and help create jobs.

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