Press Releases

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Latina health advocates demand Medicaid expansion in Florida

Press Release
Washington
Loretta Kane, lk@caminopr.org/917-410-7242

MIAMI, FL — The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) is deeply troubled by the cruel actions of FL lawmakers to deny critical health care to hundreds-of-thousands of men, women, and children by refusing to expand Medicaid as provided for in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Conservative lawmakers from the governor to the legislature have refused federal dollars offered to extend health care coverage to over 760,000 Floridians, with disproportionate harm to Latinas, who are more likely to be low-income.

Activists from NLIRH and other reproductive health and health equity advocates will gather outside of the Miami’s Government Center to stage a “die-in,” to represent those who die every day due to a lack of health care. Activists will lie on the ground in symbolic protest and wear tombstone signs around their necks with identifiers (e.g. mother, sister, veteran, immigrant, LGBTQ person).

"Die-in" protest against Florida lawmakers’ refusal to expand access to Medicaid
Thursday, August 07, 2014, 12:00 p.m.
Downtown Government Center
101 NW 1st Street, Miami, FL

“Florida lawmakers’ blocking of Medicaid expansion is particularly detrimental to Latinas who face formidable barriers to accessing health care,” said Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of NLIRH. “We demand that Florida expand Medicaid for thousands of Latinas and their families. This coverage is absolutely critical for our communities.”

Currently, Latinas have among the highest rates of cervical cancer incidence and death, are four times more likely to have HIV/AIDS than white women, and twice as likely as white women to have an unintended pregnancy. Legislators in Florida last year rejected federal funding for the expansion of Medicaid, leaving over 760,000 Floridians in need without coverage. In a report published earlier this year, researchers from Harvard University and the City University of New York estimated that 1,158 to 2,221 people in Florida have died without coverage.

“Latinas have fought long and hard for our human right to health care," said Elizabeth Estrada, field coordinator for the Florida Latina Advocacy Network (FL LAN) of NLIRH. "We are standing up to demand Medicaid expansion in order to save lives and advance women’s reproductive health and human rights.”

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The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is the only national reproductive justice organization dedicated to building Latina power to advance health, dignity, and justice for 26 million Latinas, their families, and communities in the United States through leadership development, community mobilization, policy advocacy, and strategic communications.

Latinas stage “die-in” to call attention to Medicaid gap deaths