Health advocates to feds: Florida has waited too long to set up a state-based health insurance exchange

Contact: Leah Barber-Heinz, 850-294-6087, leahb@floridachain.org
Darden Rice - Progress Florida, 727-560-2479, darden@progressflorida.org

FLORIDA - Because Florida leaders have stalled implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for the last 2 ½ years, health advocates and consumers have concerns about the quality of the required health insurance exchange as well as the level of consumer input and transparency that will be involved. Today, many health advocacy organizations sent this letter to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In addition, 8,800 Floridians have signed this petition to be sent to HHS to ensure that a federal health insurance exchange will developed for hard-working Floridians rather than a hastily planned state exchange.

"Our hope is that eventually Florida will be in the position to develop its own high quality health insurance exchange with consumer input - but we are in no way ready for that now," said Laura Goodhue, of FL CHAIN. "Florida just waited too long to make this happen by the deadline. Now we ask the state to fully cooperate with the feds to make sure Floridians have access to affordable coverage as the law intended." 

Today, Laura Brennaman RN CEN, Nurse and Health Advocate, Dr. Mona Mangat, MD, Physician and Health Advocate representing Doctors for America, Darden Rice, Communications Director of Progress Florida and Laura Goodhue, Greg Mellowe and Leah Barber-Heinz of FL CHAIN held a press conference call to explain why advocates feel the exchange must be run by the federal government at this time.

Florida CHAIN is a statewide advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health of all Floridians by promoting access to quality, affordable health care. CHAIN stands for Community Health Action Information Network. Founded in 2008, Progress Florida is a nonprofit organization promoting progressive values through online organizing, media outreach, and networking with Florida's leading organizations.

www.floridachain.org * www.progressflorida.org      

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