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  1. St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg council officially supports universal health care

ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council took up a national political debate recently, voting to support universal health care.

The resolution, which passed 6-2, was requested by Council member Steve Kornell.

"I think it's a basic human right," he said. "I don't think the broad public realizes how many people go without" health care.

About a dozen people spoke in favor of the resolution, which requests members of congress who represent St. Petersburg support the Medicare for All Act of 2019. Only one person spoke against it.

One supporter was Lucinda Johnston, 66. She said her mother, a nurse who started her own business, bought health care but lost it after suffering a heart attack.

"Her insurance company cancelled her insurance because she used it," she said. "At that time they could" do that.

At 61, Johnston's mother returned to the workforce to attain health care, but suffered a fatal heart attack before it could kick in.

Council members Ed Montanari and Darden Rice voted against the resolution. Rice said she wished the resolution would have been more detailed.

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