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!

Medicaid Expansion

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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 Holds Coverage Gap Rally

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    FL: Florida CHAIN, along with the Florida Consumer Action Network and a local city council member, hosted a news conference at St. Petersburg City Hall calling on lawmakers to close the coverage gap. The press conference included speeches by local politicians, stakeholders, and individuals in the coverage gap.

  • KidsWell Partners Call on Florida to Expand Medicaid and Close the Coverage Gap

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    Young Invincibles, FL: Young Invincibles and Florida CHAIN held a press conference and blogged about a new brief examining the impact of Florida’s decision not to expand Medicaid on young Floridians. According to the brief, more than one third of the 918,000 Floridians who are in the coverage gap are young adults.

  • KidsWell Partners Featured in USA Today

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    CCF, CA, FL, TX: Four KidsWell partners were featured in a USA Today article exploring states that expanded Medicaid coverage for children but did not expand coverage for adults. Quoted in the article are Joan Alker, executive director for the Georgetown Center for Children and Families, Kelly Hardy, senior director of health policy for Children Now, Greg Mellowe, policy director for Florida CHAIN, and Anne Dunkelberg, associate director for the Center for Public Policy Priorities.

  • Florida CHAIN Issues Statement in Response to Medicaid Expansion Report

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    FL: Florida CHAIN released a statement in response to the Council of Economic Advisers’ report on states that have not expanded Medicaid. The statement highlights the economic and health impacts should Florida expand Medicaid, including: 38,000 fewer people with catastrophic out-of-pocket Medicaid expenses per year; $15 billion in federal support through 2016; and 63,800 more jobs through 2017. In response to the report, Leah Barber-Heinz, CEO for Florida CHAIN, said, “States that have moved forward with health care expansion are seeing billions of dollars coming into their economy and the creation of tens of thousands of good jobs...Florida is throwing away new jobs and sending our tax dollars to states that are expanding, when instead we could be investing that money here at home.” 
  • Florida CHAIN Blogs About Medicaid Expansion and Substance Use Disorders

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    FL: Florida CHAIN blogged about the potential impact of Medicaid expansion on 170,000 Floridians with substance use disorders (SUDs) who fall into Florida’s coverage gap. Florida CHAIN asserts that expanding Medicaid coverage to people with SUDs would be good for families, businesses, and the State’s economy.   
  • 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’s Medicaid Counter Keeps Climbing

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    FL: Florida CHAIN, in partnership with Progress Florida, launched the Florida Medicaid Counter which counts the federal dollars Florida is losing each second by not expanding Medicaid. 

  • Florida CHAIN To Host Webinar on Non-Expansion’s Impact on Women

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    FL: Florida CHAIN co-hosted a webinar on February 25, 2014 highlighting the impact of the state’s decision not to expand Medicaid on more than 460,000 uninsured women.  Webinar attendees learned about the needs of uninsured Floridian women and the political landscape related to Medicaid expansion.  

  • 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.  


  • 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 Launched Medicaid Expansion Thunderclap and ACA Enrollment Events

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    FL: Florida CHAIN organized a Thunderclap  of over 134,000 people to call on state lawmakers to expand Medicaid.

    Florida CHAIN will hold three enrollment events with navigators on November 18th, December 3rd, and December 5th to help Floridians enroll in coverage. The events will feature legislators, community partners, and consumers. 

  • 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.


  • Knowledge to Truly Treasure! Florida CHAIN Hosts Treasure Coast Health Care Town Hall

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    FL: Florida CHAIN hosted a Treasure Coast Health Care Town Hall Meeting on August 26th to help families understand the new affordable health care coverage options that will be available starting October 1st. The town hall also covered how Florida CHAIN is organizing to advocate for coverage of the 1.2 million Floridians who will not be covered due to the state’s failure to expand Medicaid.

  • Florida CHAIN Discusses the ACA's Impact on Medicaid Eligibility

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    FL: Despite the Florida Legislature not expanding Medicaid, Florida CHAIN issued a whitepaper highlighting how provisions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will impact Medicaid eligibility.  These changes include expanding eligibility for: children ages 6 to 18 from 100% to 133% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL); former foster children to the age of 26; and very low-income adults (with under $2,000 in assets) through the new Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) eligibility calculation. However, Florida CHAIN notes that in applying the MAGI calculation, some beneficiaries could lose access to Medicaid coverage and this could have been prevented by expanding Medicaid to the new adult population.  

  • 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.

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