Florida CHAIN

Florida CHAIN is a statewide consumer health advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health of all Floridians by promoting access to affordable, quality health care. Florida CHAIN provides resources to build the capacities for and linking consumer, community and service organizations with health care advocacy. In addition, Florida CHAIN provides policy education, collaborative networking, training, and communications and organizing tools to the public, allied partners, media and policy makers. See below for more information about Florida CHAIN’s recent activities, accomplishments, and advocacy work and tools!

Legislative Advocacy

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  • Florida CHAIN Hosts Coverage Gap Press Event

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    FL: On March 9th, Florida CHAIN hosted a press event with Miami’s Mayor Tomás Pedro Regalado, uninsured residents, advocates, business leaders, and other interested stakeholders at Miami’s City Hall calling on lawmakers to close the coverage gap. The event featured photographs that are part of a traveling project highlighting real people stuck in the coverage gap. 

  • Florida CHAIN Asks Floridians to Join Statewide Day of Action

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    FL: On January 8, Florida CHAIN, as part of the Health Care for Florida Now coalition, encouraged members to take part in a statewide day of action and ask State lawmakers to close the coverage gap. Supporters were encouraged to call their local representatives and remind them of the coverage gap’s social and economic impact on Floridians.

  • Florida CHAIN Organizes Coverage Gap Rally

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    FL: Florida CHAIN organized a “Healthcare for the Holidays” rally bringing attention to Floridians who still lack health coverage. The December 18th rally included dozens of large photographs of uninsured Floridians and a collection of over 60 full page photographs of those stuck in the coverage gap.

  • Florida CHAIN to Host “Health News You Can Use” Calls

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    FL: Florida CHAIN announced they will host a series of calls on health policy issues affecting Floridians beginning December 2nd. The first call will focus on how the ACA addresses health disparities faced by members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Registration is available now.
  • YI & FL CHAIN Team Up to Collect Young Adults’ Coverage Gap Stories

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    YI & FL: Young Invincibles (YI) and Florida CHAIN are partnering to collect stories of young adults in states that have not expanded Medicaid.  YI developed a survey that FL CHAIN is distributing to its community partners to reach Florida’s uninsured young adults.
  • FL CHAIN Rallies for Medicaid Expansion as Florida Promotes Medical Tourism

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    FL: On April 30, 2014, Florida CHAIN, in partnership with Progress Florida, hosted a rally at the Florida State Capital in support of expanding Medicaid.  FL CHAIN also organized a sign-on petition directed to lawmakers considering a “medical tourism” bill, which would increase out-of-state patients’ access to health coverage in Florida.  The petition advocates for prioritizing low income Floridians’ access to health coverage over out-of-state patients. 
  • NCLR & KidsWell FL Advocate for Expanded Health Coverage at Florida’s Children’s Week

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    NCLR & FL: From April 6-11, 2014, KidsWell FL participated in Children’s Week, an annual event held in Tallahassee, to advocate for Medicaid expansion and health coverage for legally residing immigrant children.  Leah Barbara-Heinz, chief executive officer of Florida CHAIN, was interviewed by Tallahassee.com about the importance of these legislative initiatives.  The National Council of La Raza also partnered with Redlands Christian Migrant Association to engage young Latinas in legislative advocacy visits during Children’s Week.

  • FL CHAIN Continues Medicaid Expansion Advocacy

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    FL: Greg Mellowe, policy director for Florida CHAIN, released a press statement and Health News Florida editorial in response to CMS’ decision to extend Florida’s Low Income Pool (LIP) for one year.  The LIP provides federal Medicaid funding to help hospitals offset the cost of treating uninsured patients.  In the editorial, Mellowe highlighted that, unlike the LIP extension which is a “short-term band-aid for the problem of uncompensated care,” expanding Medicaid would provide a long term solution by reducing the number of uninsured Floridians.
  • FL CHAIN Criticizes Governor’s Plan to Roll Back Taxes While Refusing to Expand Medicaid

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    FL: FL CHAIN released a press statement criticizing Governor Scott’s plan to roll back taxes while refusing federal funding to expand Medicaid.  FL CHAIN equates the Governor’s refusal to expand Medicaid to a tax increase because the State is preventing the flow of federal dollars to provide health coverage. 

  • FL CHAIN Blogs About Legislators’ Continued ACA Opposition and Misrepresentation

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    FL: To highlight legislators’ persistent attempts to misrepresent the ACA, FL CHAIN published a blog post illustrating the state’s efforts to block the ACA, including: presentation of misleading and inaccurate premium information; drafting of proposed rules conflating definitions and requirements for Navigators and Certified Application Counselors; blocking discussion of Medicaid expansion; and weakening state law in two areas where Florida is currently stronger than the ACA—coverage for young adults under 30 and small business employees.  

     

  • Florida CHAIN Questions Accuracy of State Report on Health Insurance Costs

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    FL: Greg Mellowe, policy director of Florida CHAIN, was quoted in Health News Florida questioning the accuracy of the cost of premiums in a state report to a legislative committee.  Mellowe stated, “I can’t remember ever hearing that many errors, misstatements and evasions in that short of a legislative presentation."  Wences Troncoso, Deputy Insurance Commissioner of the Office of Insurance Regulation, acknowledged the availability of lower-cost coverage options than the presentation reported.
  • All Hands on Deck! Florida CHAIN Encourages Stakeholders to Push for Medicaid Expansion

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    FL: Florida CHAIN launched an “All Hands on Deck” campaign urging individuals to attend a November 25th Legislative Delegation meeting on the ACA and Medicaid Expansion. The Campaign’s goal is to demonstrate to state leaders the importance of expanding coverage to 3.8 million uninsured Floridians. Florida CHAIN also blogged on MomsRising.org about the millions of American families not eligible for affordable coverage because their states did not expand Medicaid. The blog encouraged readers to contact their legislators to support Medicaid expansion.

  • Florida CHAIN Challenged Legislature's Plan on Regulating Insurance Rates

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    FL: Florida CHAIN challenged, for a third time, Senate Bill 1842 which suspends the Office of Insurance Regulation’s (OIR) ability to review plan rates subject to the ACA through 2015. Florida CHAIN argues that, rather than protecting consumers through rate review, OIR will only create notices that plans must send to policyholders describing the ACA’s impact on their coverage. Despite Florida CHAIN’s efforts, an administrative law judge dismissed the challenge on November 4th

  • Twitter Action Alert! Health Care for Florida Now Announced Twitter Events during Legislative Committee Week

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    FL: At the beginning of the Legislative Committee Weeks on September 23rd, Health Care for Florida Now will launch a statewide Health Care Expansion Twitter event to blast social media tweets demanding expansion of health care coverage for Floridians. Tweets are currently being collected. Sign up here!

     

     Florida CHAIN, in collaboration with other advocates, will hold a social media training on September 26th focused on using social media to mobilize public support for legislative strategies. RSVPs will be accepted until September 23rd.

     

  • Florida CHAIN Reacts to State Bill on Review of Health Insurance Rates

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    FL: In response to the Florida legislature’s passage of a bill that would suspend the Office of Insurance Regulation's authority to review health insurance rates for two years, Florida CHAIN published a blog post stating “Senate Bill 1842 brings bad news for Florida consumers in at least two distinct ways: it deregulates health insurance at the state level, putting consumers at risk; and, it sets up ACA to be blamed for Florida’s irresponsibility.” Florida CHAIN was also quoted in a Palm Beach Post Capital Bureau article on the Bill.
  • Florida CHAIN Published a Newsletter Highlighting Outcome of Advocacy Efforts

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    FL: Although the Florida Legislature did not pass legislation to expand Medicaid to low-income adults or enhance the KidsCare program by eliminating waiting periods and expanding access to services, Florida CHAIN published a newsletter praising the mobilization and advocacy efforts of the 2013 legislative session. Florida CHAIN highlighted that, due to the heightened legislative activity, there is increased awareness of coverage and children’s health care issues in Florida communities. Florida CHAIN plans to build off of this momentum by publishing action alerts and videos and holding press conferences and events; they recently issued a call to action requesting that individuals call Governor Scott and demand a special session with the goal of expanding coverage for the uninsured. 
  • Lobby for Our Lives! Florida CHAIN Held Medicaid Expansion Rally at Florida Capitol

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    FL: On April 29th, over 50 supporters representing six health care groups, participated in a rally organized by Florida CHAIN to urge Governor Scott and the legislature to expand Medicaid under the ACA. Florida CHAIN posted pictures of the rally and a video featuring Dr. Larry Floriani of Doctors for America requesting Governor Scott’s support for the expansion. Additionally,  various media sources including the Tampa Bay Times (here and here), The Florida Current, The Florida Channel, and The Huffington Post covered the rally.
  • Action Alert! Florida CHAIN Works to Expand Coverage to Low-Income Floridians

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    FL: Florida CHAIN released a call to action requesting that individuals contact their state representatives and urge them to support expanding coverage to low-income Floridians. Florida CHAIN also released two videos of an uninsured father of three who would benefit from the expansion and a woman who has been uninsured for over seven years, asking supporters to submit stories about how the Healthy Florida Plan would benefit their communities and families. They announced a series of vigils to be held in support of Floridians who need healthcare and Leah Barber-Heinz, Communications Director, published a post in CCF’s Say Ahhh! Blog about how Florida’s decision to accept federal funding to expand Medicaid will impact employers.

  • NAM & Florida Advocates CHAIN Published Article and Held a Press Conference on State's Five Year Waiting Period

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    NAM & FL: New America Media and Florida CHAIN collaborated to publish an article on Florida’s requirement that lawful immigrants receive Medicaid and CHIP coverage after they have met the five year residence requirement. According to the article, this provision impacts 20,000 to 40,000 children in the state.  KidsWell Florida also held a press conference at the Capitol on April 10th to support legislation that was introduced to remove the five year waiting period (HB 4023/SB704) and extends regulations for presumptive eligibility determinations for Florida KidsCare (HB689/SB548).
  • Florida Advocates Continue to Fight for Expansion

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    FL: KidsWell Florida partners have continue advocating to the state legislature to expand Medicaid by developing an FAQ for legislators, testifying to the Senate Select Committee on the ACA, and holding a press event on March 14th and a Twitter Town Hall on March 12th to mobilize supporters. Their testimony included presentations from Joan Alker of the Georgetown Center for Children and Families and Greg Mellowe of the Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy. The advocates’ efforts continue to be picked up by various media sources, including the New York Times, Tampa Bay Times and The Florida Current. Florida CHAIN also developed Medicaid Expansion materials (here, here and here) and sample Twitter and Facebook posts for individuals to use.

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