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Many want Medicaid expansion on ballot for 2016

Florida is one of the 20 states that have yet to expand Medicaid under the new provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Without the expansion of Medicaid, 1 million Florida residents are stuck somewhere in the middle of making too much for Medicaid benefits and too little to afford other health care. The alarming number of uninsured residents has Florida Health Solutions concerned, and looking to get the matter put to vote in the 2016 election.

The Florida Times Union reports that Mincy Pollack, Chair of Florida Health Solutions is seeking support to get Medicaid expansion on the 2016 ballot. This push comes two years after Florida opted out of the expansion in January 2014. In doing so, Florida did not only deny people quality health care but also prevented the state from receiving $51 billion in federal money.

To get the matter put to vote in 2016, Pollock must acquire 683,149 signatures on a petition before February. The signatures must be those of registered voters in 14 different congressional districts. If successful, the petition will call for a constitutional amendment that requires Florida to include Medicaid expansion on the presidential election ballot.

While the petition's current number of signatures is unknown, there will likely be enough support for it. In Jacksonville alone, where support for the petition was shown by U.S. Representative Corrine Brown, there are more than 180,000 uninsured citizens looking forward to Medicaid expansion.

The individuals that are most likely to benefit from Medicaid expansion are those that have been caught in the gray area of too high versus too low income. With the expansion, more uninsured individuals will be Medicaid eligible and be able to better plan for their future. Those concerned with how this expansion may impact their eligibility or estate plan, speaking to an elder law attorney can help.

Source: Jacksonville.com, "Petition aims at putting Medicaid expansion in Florida to a vote in the 2016 presidential election," Charlie Patton, Nov. 11, 2015

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