Jackson Healthcare Pros to Tallahassee: Walk in Our Shoes

 Press Advisory:

Rebecca Wakefield
305 804-7051 rebecca@seiu1991.org

As gridlock grips Tallahassee over health care policy, frustrated nurses and doctors from South Florida will deliver flip flops to Governor Rick Scott and their worn-out shoes to House leaders who claim that only Gucci loafer-wearing lobbyists want Medicaid expansion. On April 15-16, 100 nurses, doctors and healthcare professionals from Jackson Health System will travel to Tallahassee to lobby lawmakers in their (non-Gucci) tennis shoes.

For three years, polls have consistently shown a majority of Floridians support Medicaid expansion. Yet the Florida Legislature has failed to act on it in any form, costing us billions in taxpayer dollars and thousands of lives. Now the state budget hangs in the balance as the House refuses to even discuss the Senate’s plan to expand health coverage to more Floridians, bring in federal money and protect safety net hospitals.

Rep. Richard Corcoran, the House budget chief,  added insult to injury by claiming that only “the Gucci-loafing, shoe-wearing special interests”  want Medicaid expansion. It’s so ridiculous that Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez highlighted it by filing a tongue-in-cheek amendment proposing to tax the sale of Gucci loafers to lobbyists.

“Gov. Rick Scott’s shameful flip-flopping on Medicaid expansion is disingenuous, irresponsible and harmful to Florida taxpayers, patients and hospitals,” said Martha Baker, RN, a Jackson Health System nurse and president of SEIU Local 1991. “Rep. Corcoran’s calling hard-working Floridians Gucci-clad lobbyists is adding insult to the real injury unnecessarily being caused to our uninsured patients and thousands like them. We’re tired of the nonsense and lack of leadership.”

On April 16 at noon, the group will hold a press conference in Tallahassee (Capitol, 4th Floor Rotunda).

What: More than 100 healthcare professionals, residents and activists will document health care struggles of Floridians in the coverage gap. They’ll leave their old shoes behind in Corcoran’s office and some flip flops in Scott’s office.

Date & Time: Thursday, April 16, 12 p.m.

Where: 4th Floor Rotunda, Capitol Building

Who:  Nurses, doctors with healthcare stories, legislators, calling out Gov. Scott and House leadership for inaction on Medicaid expansion

Visuals: podium, signs, shoes

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