Ensuring all Floridians have access to affordable, quality health care, in order to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases is essential to the mission of the American Heart Association. That is why we supported the Florida Senate’s FHIX Bill during the 2015 Special Session.
Unfortunately, on June 5, 2015, the FHIX Bill died on the House floor. If passed, the legislation would have increased health care for individuals and families earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. That means an additional 800,000 low-income Floridians would have received access to health insurance!
Healthcare coverage improves the overall health of Floridians. It allows greater access to testing and diagnosis of heart disease and stroke, and better control of risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. Plus, it prevents financial devastation after heart attack or stroke.
Floridians can take preventative action against heart disease and stroke when they have insurance, and can receive consistent medical advice, afford medications and access coaching resources for lifestyle changes. Emergency coverage for uninsured or underinsured individuals when they are facing declining health or an emergency is much more expensive than preventative and consistent care.
We applaud the efforts of the Florida Senate to pass meaningful legislation to increase access to Floridians who fall through the cracks. We're excited to continue working with them to ensure Florida’s most vulnerable have access to affordable, quality healthcare.