Florida lead the fight against the Affordable Care Act (or Obama Care) at the U.S. Supreme Court and lost. The Governor then chose not to seek federal funds for health care that are optional under the act. However, health care could very much be on the front burner again.
Exit polls show health care was one of the most important issues for Floridians who voted to re-elect the President. “That’s the country I’m so proud to lead as your President”, proclaimed President Obama on election night.
Floridians also voted 51-48 to reject an anti-health care constitutional amendment. The amendment was put on the ballot by the state lawmakers and tried to exempt Floridians from the Affordable Care Act.
Political Scientist Carol Weissert believes the amendments overwhelming defeat sends a clear message to the Governor and lawmakers. “The Medicare issue the exit polls I think found that it was pretty close but there was some support for Obama Care some support for the President’s views on Medicare”, says Weissert.
Florida could almost immediately bring half a billion dollars to the state at little or no cost to expand children’s health care. Florida still has the same Republican Governor that is rejecting federal funds and the same Republican Legislature that put the amendment on the ballot. So the question the advocates are asking is: Are they listening?
Health care activists says the state is being short sighted and given Tuesday’s vote, should reconsider not only the kids health care money, but its refusal to set up health exchanges as well. “This is an expansion of health coverage that will cover a lot of people currently struggling that are working poor basically”, says Brad Ashwell, Health Care Activist.
Lawmakers meet in March. Governor Rick Scott begins a re-election campaign in earnest after the first of the year.