Activists supporting Medicaid expansion march to Will Weatherford's office

Protesters at the rally included doctors, nurses, patients, teachers, students, young, and old. The group unanimously agreed that Weatherford was hypocritical for his stance. They were alluding to the fact that even though he is against such expansion, he has acknowledged that his own family benefited in the 1990’s from the Medically Needy Program, which is part of Medicaid.

“His own baby brother needed and used Medicaid at the end of his life, but Will Weatherford still refuses Medicaid expansion,” said Judi Breuggeman.

Many of the participants believed that Medicaid should be available to anyone who needs it.

Scott Hardy represented Healthcare workers from the 1199 SEIU. He mentioned that there are “some healthcare providers who can’t even afford healthcare for themselves.”

Speakers reminded the crowd that Organizing for Action was an offshoot from Organizing for America that got Obama elected, but that their work was not over yet. They rallied up to support change and not just parties.

Lawrence Floriani also claimed that the House Speaker’s own “family was saved from financial ruin by Medicaid.”

Floriani, with Doctors for America, was also “frustrated that [Will Weatherford] denies the facts” and “is angry that [the House Speaker] puts ideology over patients.” He concluded that “these unknown and untested [alternative] plans will likely fail. And we must continue to fight for Medicaid expansion.”

  • Members of Organizing for Action outside Will Weatherford's Office

Around 50 members of Organizing for Action (OFA) marched half a mile down SR54 Saturday afternoon to House Speaker Will Weatherford’s office in Wesley Chapel with signs reading “Where’s there’s a Will, there’s no Way,” and “Patients over Politics.”

They were there to protest Weatherford’s outspoken advocacy against accepting the Medicaid expansion plan offered by the federal government — a key part of the Affordable Care Act — that would pay all costs for Florida to expand their Medicaid rolls by up to a million people for three years, and then a 90-10 federal/state match after that.

Weatherford has said that he is opposed to Medicaid expansion because he believes "it crosses the line of the proper role of government."


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