Report: House bill would insure nearly 3 million Floridians by 2019

07/21/09 Mitch E. Perry
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amilies USA, an advocacy group supporting health care reform, released a report today that says if a new bill becomes law, nearly 3 million uninsured Floridians would have coverage by the year 2019.

The House Bill, known as America’s Affordable Health Choice Act, is currently being looked at by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The bill has passed through two committees in the House.

The Congressional Budget Office last week said the bill would ultimately insure 37 million people by the year 2019.

Ron Pollack is the Executive Director with Families USA. He cited several factors in the House bill that would expand coverage.

First he said, there would be significant insurance reform.

Another part of the House bill provides for significant sliding scale subsidies. That means, those who cannot afford health care coverage can choose different options, and get subsidized coverage. This would cover people with incomes up to 400% of the federal poverty level.

A third key aspect of the legislation is that it would increase what is known as the Medicaid Safety Net improvement.

But Pollack was asked why that would even be necessary, if a public option is included in the proposed legislation. He said it was because Medicaid provides greater protection than than other types of coverage, for instance if a patient needs to get glasses or a hearing aide.

Over the weekend, at the National Governors Association meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi, several governors expressed deep concerns about the federal government handing them an unfunded mandate in the form of new Medicaid obligations.

Families USA’s Ron Pollack says their angst is aimed more at the proposals in Senate legislation, not in the House Bill.

Left unsaid by Pollack was any discussion about the plans to pay for the House bill.

To read the report, go to

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