- Faith & Family
There is something wrong in a state when the governor blocks and refuses funds from federal laws that could help citizens. Currently, Florida ranks 49 out of 50 for the highest percentage of working people without health insurance. This is a terrible record for the governor, his administration and legislature but no one seems to care. It makes no sense that the Affordable Care Act was upheld by the Supreme Court and our governor remains stubborn and refuses to take advantage of its benefits. The Affordable Care Act makes it possible for working Floridians who do not have employer-provided health care to acquire affordable health insurance.
Florida’s unemployment compensation system, rebranded as reemployment assistance, has made Florida one of the hardest states to get unemployment. What’s more, those who are unemployed must apply for benefits online. Most are not given the option to use a telephone and there is a new requirement that applicants must complete a 45-question online exam that tests reading, math and research skills.
Only 16 percent of eligible unemployed Floridians receive state jobless benefits and the U.S. Department of Labor thinks there is something wrong with the numbers since unemployment numbers in the state are higher than the national average.
It is time for Floridians to write, petition, and put pressure on Governor Rick Scott and make him have more than an educational listening tour. Our governor is scamming and cheating residents out of health insurance and unemployment benefits — state and federal benefits to which all Floridians are entitled. Floridians also need to force the governor to get the story straight on federal and state funds that he is refusing and blocking. There are $4 million state residents without health insurance but Scott continues to reject the promised $20 billion in federal funds to the state over the next decade. The Affordable Care Act would expand Medicaid and extend the program to the uninsured working poor, which is the majority of Florida’s workforce.
In order to get Scott’s attention, it must start at the polls with the ballot. We need to vote in more Democrats to challenge the Republicans in the Florida Legislature. It is also time to force our governor to be more transparent and be held accountable for not giving more Floridians access to health insurance and unemployment benefits.
Roger Caldwell is the CEO of On Point Media Group in Orlando.
By Roger Caldwell
Miami Times contributor, email@example.com