Miami, FL – Today in Miami, Congresswoman Donna Shalala joined health care advocates and local leaders in Miami to celebrate nine years and 20 million Americans insured under the Affordable Care Act.
Advocates highlighted the incredible progress that’s been made in improving America’s health security, as well as the ongoing efforts to roll back those protections. Because of the ACA, health insurers can no longer charge women more than men
, or impose high costs that effectively block people with pre-existing conditions from accessing care, and more than 20 million Americans have gained health coverage.
This includes the over 1.7 million Floridians currently enrolled in the ACA Marketplace. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), Miami-Dade County leads all counties in the country with 394,677 residents enrolled in Marketplace coverage. In fact, 4 of the top 10
counties in enrollment in the country are in Florida.
Congresswoman Donna Shalala
“Every once in a while this nation takes giant steps to create safety nets for people in our country. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the ACA. The ACA was a giant step. 100,000 people in my district are registered for the ACA. That is the largest registration of any congressional district in the country. And guess what? The ACA is here to stay.”
Laurie Scop – Miami resident with pre-existing condition
“In 2001, I was diagnosed with a severe neurological disease that left me bedridden, disabled and residing in a nursing home as a young woman, unexpected to recover. By 2009, I was fully recovered, and I returned to the workforce at the height of the economic downturn in the US. I was starting over alone, working 10-14 hour days, and denied an alternate affordable insurance plan. Therefore, I went without an adequate amount of food in order to keep the expensive commercial plan I had, hoping my employment status would become permanent soon and I would receive benefits. After nearly six months of work, I weighed 98lbs, and I remained a temporary employee. I could no longer survive and afford my private plan which left me uninsured, but it was too late. One afternoon, I was found unconscious in my office. I woke up in the hospital, uninsured for the first time in my life, with a substantial amount of medical debt. Shortly after I returned to work, I was laid off, unable to qualify for unemployment compensation, ineligible for Medicaid and unable to afford outpatient care. I am alive to tell my story whereas others are not. Every day, Floridians die due to the inability to access ongoing outpatient care.”
Benito Cruz – Miami Resident and ACA enrollee
Matt Childers – Florida Health Justice Project
Tiffani Helberg – Vice President for Communications at Community Health of South Florida, Inc.