Congresswoman Castor introduces legislation to make it easier for Florida kids to get health care

04/23/07 Mitch E. Perry
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Today begins Cover the Uninsurance Week across the country, and today in Tampa, political and medical officials spotlighted the problems that the state of Florida has had in insuring those without health insurance in Florida.


Tampa area Congresswoman Kathy Castor recited startling numbers of how local in children have fallen off the state’s Kid Care Program in the last 5 years

(roll tape#1 o.q.” that have built up”)


Castor was joined by Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe in an event organized by the Florida Covering Kids and Families Initiative at St. Joseph’s Children Hospital in Tampa.


Congresswoman Castor announced that she will soon introduce legislation that will include what she calls “an express lane” to allow kids to see a doctor without the beauacratic battles that currently exist (roll tape#2 o.q. “as I can”)


Part of Castor’s federal legislation to make it easier for parents to sign up for Florida’s Health Care program includes allowing just 1 enrollment form for all-low income programs.


Similar legislation to making it easier for Florida Families to sign their children up for Kid Care is being sponsored in Tallhassee – and Governor Charlie Crist is doing his part as well- requesting for more than 44 million dollars in this year’s budget to also help streamline the system.


That’s’s critical, because health care advocates say the state has left hundreds of millions of dollars on the table regarding children’s health care that could have been used here. 


Aimee Eden moved to Tampa from Washington DC 2 years ago with her husband.  But because neither has health insurance, the costs to insure themselves and their only child at that time thru a Student health insurance was  prohibitive.  (roll tape#4 o.q.”not be insured at all”)


But Eden said she then discovered the Kid Care Program (roll tape#5 o.q. “is really priceless”) 


Michael Aubin is the CEO of St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital.  He says the paperwork to get into KidCare has been a logistical nightmare (roll tape#6 o.q.”  do just that”)


And Aubin says among the myriad reasons why all Floridians should care that the uninsured children get health care coverage is  that it will save everybody money with their health care premiums. (roll tape#7 o.q. “we have to cover more people”)


To call to learn if your child can qualify for Kid Care, you can call 1-888-540-5437.


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