Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Obama's housing official in Tampa to promote health care law

TAMPA — The nation's top housing official on Friday urged Florida political leaders to "stop playing politics" and take federal money to expand Medicaid coverage to more people.

"Here in Florida, we need the governor and the Legislature to step up," Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said at an event at the Encore Tampa redevelopment project. Also there was U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, and Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

Donovan and other leaders in the Obama administration are fanning out to critical states like Florida to try to promote the Affordable Care Act. The president's signature law has come under heavy fire for the bumpy rollout of the online insurance exchange and the cancellations of millions of individual policies that don't comply with the law.

Making more poor people eligible for Medicaid coverage was a key part of the law. But the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the law left the decision to expand the program up to the states. Florida's House Republicans stopped expansion dead in its tracks last session.

That decision left nearly 800,000 poor Floridians with no options for health care. They still can't get Medicaid, and they are too poor to qualify for subsidies to buy private insurance on the federal exchange.

"I want those legislators to look those people in the eye and say, 'You don't need health care,' " Donovan said. "That's not the right answer. They need health care."

Donovan said it's not unusual for a housing official to talk about health care. A key reason many people default on their mortgages, for instance, is medical debt. And Encore will eventually include a health care clinic.

"Health care is an important part of any revitalization we do," he said.

Obama's housing official in Tampa to promote health care law 11/08/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 8, 2013 10:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

    Blogs

    Winner of the week 1: 'Liquor wall’ proponents. Gov. Rick Scott’s veto of a bill to allow Walmart, Target and other big box stores to sell liquor was a victory for an array of groups, from smaller merchants and Publix (which has stand-alone booze shops near its stores) to those who feel the hard stuff …

  2. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

    Blogs

    Somewhere beyond the barricades and mountainous LED stages of the Sunset Music Festival, there had to be worry. There had to thousands of parents in parking lots and empty kitchens, anxiously distracting their minds, every now and then checking their phones.

    Major Lazer headlined the Sunset Music Festival on May 27, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  3. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  4. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title

    Blogs

    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  5. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.