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Hometown: Florida
Current location: Orlando
Member since: Wed Nov 10, 2004, 08:49 AM
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UPDATE: Charlene Dill story HITS MSN (mother murdered by Rick Scott's Medicaid Gap)

You might remember the thread a couple of weeks ago on the death of a young Florida mother of three with a heart condition who couldn't receive healthcare b/c she fell into the state's enormous Medicaid Gap created by Republicans refusing to take federal monies to expand the program. Thom Hartmann picked up the story from that post and then Truth-Out did a piece.

After a cover story in the Orlando Weekly, the story has caught fire, being featured on Al Sharpton's show, Alex Wagner's show and on Huffington Post Live.

Tomorrow night Lawrence O'Donnell will have it on, and The Maddow Show producers have also reached out to primary contacts for the story.

While the story threatens to go national, I hope everyone remembers that the politics in play are state and local. And it couldn't be any more clear to someone paying attention to what's going on in Tallahassee.

ALEC-led Republicans are leaving dead Americans on their ideological battlefield. They are being helped along by ALEC-led "think tanks" and publications and lobbyists with lots and lots of money. Now they're moving into local government:


Conservative group Alec trains sights on city and local government
• American Legislative Exchange Council forms new initiative
• Offshoot will target ‘villages, towns, cities and counties’

Now the council is looking to take its blueprint for influence over statewide lawmaking and drill it down to the local level. It has already quietly set up, and is making plans for the public launch of, an offshoot called the American City County Exchange (ACCE) that will target policymakers from “villages, towns, cities and counties”.

We need to get mad about Charlene Dill, and we need to direct that energy where it can do some good: state and local legislative bodies that have created two sets of rules -- one for us and one for them. Now, they're creating two sets of outcomes -- one for us and one for them. And we can't go on like this. It's no wonder the most talked about economics book of the year is a warning us that the gap between the rich and poor threatens to destroy society. I'm feeling it, Mr. Piketty.

State and local government holds the power here, which I suppose is predictable since they've spent so much time and money in buying our corrupt political system here in Florida. We need to understand how that turns up the heat. It's our own neighbors who think it's just fine for young mothers to die if they have the "wrong kind" of job -- the kind that doesn't pay or offer benefits. This exploitable labor exists, in fact, because of policies set by our state and local politicians. In Florida, that' means ALEC.

If you live in Orange County or want to know more about this, visit http://www.votelocal2014.org

Here's the story from the Orlando Weekly:


The perils of Florida’s refusal to expand Medicaid
Charlene Dill is one of an estimated 2,000 people who expected to face dire health issues due to lack of access to care

Charlene Dill didn’t have to die.

On March 21, Dill was supposed to bring her three children over to the South Orlando home of her best friend, Kathleen Voss Woolrich. The two had cultivated a close friendship since 2008; they shared all the resources that they had, from debit-card PINs to transportation to baby-sitting and house keys. They helped one another out, forming a safety net where there wasn’t one already. They “hustled,” as Woolrich describes it, picking up short-term work, going out to any event they could get free tickets to, living the high life on the low-down, cleaning houses for friends to afford tampons and shampoo. They were the working poor, and they existed in the shadows of the economic recovery that has yet to reach many average people.


Dill’s death was not unpredictable, nor was it unpreventable. She had a documented heart condition for which she took medication. But she also happened to be one of the people who fall within the gap created by the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed states to opt out of Medicaid expansion, which was a key part of the Affordable Care Act’s intention to make health care available to everyone. In the ensuing two years, 23 states have refused to expand Medicaid, including Florida, which rejected $51 billion from the federal government over the period of a decade to overhaul its Medicaid program to include people like Dill and Woolrich – people who work, but do not make enough money to qualify for the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies. They, like many, are victims of a political war – one that puts the lives and health of up to 17,000 U.S. residents and 2,000 Floridians annually in jeopardy, all in the name of rebelling against President Barack Obama’s health care plan.


These are the people in the coverage gap – the unknowns, the single mothers, the not-quite-retired – the unnamed 750,000 Floridians who are suffering while legislators in Tallahassee refuse to address the issue in this year’s legislative session, which ends on May 2. The working poor – who used to be the middle class – are on a crash course with disaster for no logical reason. Charlene Dill, at the age of 32, didn’t have to die.

In the Sunshine State, 440,000 people signed up on the health care exchange, while 125,000 were judged to be eligible for Medicaid. Florida, with its retirees and low-wage workers, is on the demand side of health care.

“We are No. 2, plus we have a federal exchange,” SEIU state council president Monica Russo says. “I find that quite a statement. Floridians need health care. I think [Republicans] can campaign all they want against health care, but at the end of the day, what are they going to do? Rip health care out of their hands?”

snip -- much more at link: http://orlandoweekly.com/news/the-perils-of-florida-s-refusal-to-expand-medicaid-1.1665144?pgno=1
Posted by nashville_brook | Sun Apr 13, 2014, 02:53 PM (59 replies)
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