Make us your home page

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

  1. Live from St. Pete: Kriseman, Baker square off in TV debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — The mayoral race goes into the home stretch starting Tuesday.

  2. Five ideas for cooking with ground turkey


    I rarely cook with ground beef. Ground turkey became the go-to ground protein in my kitchen years ago. As meats go, it's pretty ideal: not a ton of raw meat juices, easy enough to cook in a pinch, more flavor than ground chicken. I sub turkey in for just about any recipe that calls for ground beef, except on …

    Siraracha Turkey Skewers are accompanied by jasmine rice and carrot-cucumber slaw.
  3. SOCom moves to bring growing Warrior Games for injured troops to Tampa


    TAMPA — The military established special games for ill and injured troops and veterans in 2010, and the annual event drew crowds of up to 5,000 to the bases that hosted them — until this summer.

    Medically retired Marine Corps Sgt. Mike Nicholson of Tampa participates in the 2017 Warrior Games in Chicago on July 2.
  4. The Daystarter: Tampa courts Warrior Games; McCain returns for health care vote; Kriseman, Baker debate tonight; Jones on McCoy's puzzling pattern of tantrums


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    President Donald Trump on Monday urged senators to vote in favor of an overhaul of the Affordable Care Act. [ Washington Post]
  5. Trump sprinkles political attacks into Scout Jamboree speech

    GLEN JEAN, W.Va. — Ahead of President Donald Trump's appearance Monday at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, the troops were offered some advice on the gathering's official blog: Fully hydrate. Be "courteous" and "kind." And avoid the kind of divisive chants heard during the 2016 campaign such as "build …

    President Donald Trump addresses the Boy Scouts of America's 2017 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve in Glen Jean, W.Va., July 24, 2017. [New York Times]