Florida Kidcare Sees Expansion

By: Troy Kinsey Email
By: Troy Kinsey Email

Tallahassee, Florida- August 9, 2012

It's a crafty campaign dubbed 'Kids Oughta Be Covered'.

In Florida, half a million kids don't have it, mainly because their families think they can't afford it. But, under Kidcare, the state-run program offering low-cost or no-cost coverage, they can.

Florida CFO Jeff Atwater is spearheading the campaign to make parents aware of the program as their kids head back to school.

"All the potential of all the other goals in life are diminished unless we can approach life every day healthy and ready to go," said Atwater.

You might call it a baby step toward covering Florida's uninsured, beginning with babies.

But, the Kidcare campaign is little consolation for three million adults, a million of whom were almost a heartbeat away from getting their own state coverage.

Governor Rick Scott is refusing to expand Florida's medicaid program, arguing it's too big of a burden.

Jackay Edwards's 16-year-old son Brandon is covered, but she isn't.
Jackay would be eligible for medicaid, if it were expanded, and as a dental assistant, she says she doesn't make enough money to afford a private plan.

"My company offers it to us, but it's still expensive. I mean, for them to pay their portion and then for me to pay my portion every month, I couldn't do it," said Edwards. A tough fact making for a hard question.

The Kidcare outreach campaign is focusing on reaching parents at back-to-school activities.

Over the past couple of years, enrollment in the program in Florida has grown faster than in any other state

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