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  1. Opinion

Editorial: Numbers show health reforms are working

Published Sep. 23, 2014

Don't believe the negative campaign ads mocking health care reform. More Floridians have health coverage because of the Affordable Care Act, and even more would be benefiting if Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature would accept $51 billion in Medicaid expansion money. The successes in Florida are particularly impressive since the governor and state lawmakers have been obstructionists at every turn, from refusing to create a state marketplace for health insurance to rejecting millions in federal dollars to implement the reforms to throwing up roadblocks to navigators helping residents sort through their options.

The Republican incumbent avoids talking about health care reform, but Democratic nominee Charlie Crist promises to call a special session of the Legislature to demand that the state accept the Medicaid expansion money. Meanwhile, preparation continues for the next open enrollment period for the federal marketplace beginning Nov. 14. The University of South Florida has received $5.3 million, the largest federal grant in the nation, to continue with navigators who will help families shop for coverage in the federal marketplace. Pinellas County received more than $535,000 of the $6.8 million awarded to Florida for navigators.

983,775

Number of Floridians who have selected a health plan through the federal marketplace.

27 percent

Portion of that number who are between 18 and 34, which is important because younger, healthier enrollees help keep costs down.

91 percent

Portion of Floridians who bought coverage on the federal marketplace who received a federal subsidy.

79,339

Number of residents in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties who received coverage through the federal marketplace.

238,992

Number of additional Floridians covered by Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program even though the state refused the Medicaid expansion money.

848,000

Number of additional Floridians who would have health care coverage if the state would accept the Medicaid expansion money.

224,000

Number of Floridians under 26 years old who have remained covered on their parents' health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services